tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 5, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
senate, they're in today at 2:00 likely to take up the libya resolution approved by the foreign relations committee approved last week. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room -- the speaker's room,
washington, d.c., july 5, 2011. i hereby appoint the honorable jeff duncan to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered today by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as the members of this assembly return from days away, celebrating our nation's birth, grant them safe and restful journey. may they return ready to assume a difficult work which must be done. we pray for the needs of the nation and world and all of creation. bless those who seek to honor you and serve each other and all americans in this house through their public service. may the words and deeds of this place reflect an earnest desire
for justice and may men and women in government build on the tradition of equity and truth that represents the noblest heritage of our people. may your blessing, o god, be with us this day and every day to come and may all we do be done for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the chair will now lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. without objection, the house stands adjourned until 2:00
bio information on the cab dates, twitter feeds from candidates and political reporters and links to c-span media partners in the early primary and caucus states. visit us at c-span.org/campaign 2012. retired supreme court justice sandra day o'connor leads off a discussion on social, economic and political forces that divide and unite americans today. the event includes a key note address by harvard law professor randrand. the center of social cohesion host the event. a joint project of arizona state university in partnership with the new america foundation. >> a joint project of arizona state university, partnership with the new america foundation in washington, d.c. we are a new think tank dedicated to studying the forces that shapes our sense of
social unity. to kick things off today i'm very pleased to introduce mr. michael crow, the president of arizona state university. [applause] >> even from arizona, of all places, and southern california where there are tremendous forces for social change and tremendous stresses that are manifested every day in the behavior of politicians and citizens, the one thing that we think is absent from this mix is intellectually rigorous, focused, thoughtful debate. and so what we have been working toward with the launching of this center and through other things that we do is to help within that complex mix of forces that are out there to make certain that at the end of the day we have a
part of the debate and a part of the discussion about the future of the united states, the future of our social fabric, being something that's actually guided in a way where it's more thoughtful than some of the discussions that have gone on. to do that one has to have a purpose or a direction, and we believe very much that this notion of cohesion, social cohesion, linkage and connection is a high order purpose. it's an objective that we've worked toward at various points in american history. we've had various levels of discuss or failure along the way. and certainly a work in progress and it's something we think is worthy of time and attention. today what we thought we'd do is continue this discussion, if you will, by focusing on this notion of the united states itself, its structure, its design, its orientation, its
evolution, and we thought that related to that, as we've gone through history and we've gone through a number of dynamic forces, who better than sandra day o'connor to help us to think about some of the complexities associated with the design of our country. we were just chatting briefly, to some extent you hear occasionally people talking how we might divide the country up. the governor of texas saying texas can somehow lead the union as some condition of its addition to the union. and i could have swore that there were two decisiones that were made along the way. one was the manifest replacement of the articles of confederation by the constitution and the second was the civil war that basically said somehow along the way that this was a united states of united states and always would be. and -- united states of america and always would be. arizonan justice sandra day
o'connor as agreed to offer us some of her thinking today. i won't walk you through her resume today and she asked me certain i wouldn't. i want to make sure that everyone remember that she grew up on a ranch along ago. one of the first women to graduate from stanford law school and one of the first women to be elected to the united states supreme court. leaving as an active justice, apparently remains active throughout the country, still hearing cases and moving forward. let me say to you that back in arizona, how many of you are arizonans? i suspect not many. very few. yes. back in arizona she is continuing to work for solutions and problem solving through what is now called o'connor house which is a place where people gather. her original home in metro phoenix with her husband and her family has been converted and moved to a separate
location where people gather to actually solve problems rather than just argue about problems. so it's this notion of finding ways to raise the level of discourse. even from a place like arizona which at least in the national eye has appeared to have something other than civil discourse the last couple of years. we still strive for that. so justice o'connor will offer her some of her thinking with us. she has a small issue today where she'd prefer to sit. [inaudible] >> i wish it were. it would be a lot simpler. i apologize. >> justice o'connor. >> thank you. michael -- dr. michael crow, as
most of you know, is president of arizona state university and he's doing a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances because the state has run out of money, they say. and so it makes it a little hard if you're trying to run a good university to be told there isn't any more money. somehow he's working things out. he's a miracle worker. i'm sure he'll have some good thoughts today. i'm very glad to be here. this is an interesting topic and a good topic for discussion, and i look forward to listening and learning something too. account united states remain united? well, i certainly hope so. i'm sure you do too. now, many nation states around the world are united by blood or ethnicity or religion or historic territorial identity
or some other characteristic. and the united states is different from most of those places because it's united based on none of those things and all of them. what do i mean? we have a unique conception of our role in our fields and our concept is citizenship is one that is open and voluntary. the people who became americans came here because they wanted to and they wanteds to experiment on our new continent. and i think we had from the beginning we have placed value on freedom and democracy and we looked to our founding documents, the declaration of independence and the constitution, for our guidance.
and we're united by a certain number of values that we think we share. there are other forms of unit ity, of course, we're not putting forward. -- unity, of course, we're not putting forward. we reach for something else and it's the relationship between the american identity and the various subidentities that american citizens also hold that i think bring you here today to talk about it. and the subidentities, in our u.s. population, capture only a part of what we are. and the -- i guess the question we're going to talk about today is whether the overline
identity as americans, as citizens of this country, developed as it is, are sufficiently strong to overcome the divisions that we see based on the other issues that surround us today. and certainly we have them. and i hope the answer, of course, is yes. we've said for years that our strength as a nation is founded on the strength of all immigrants that came to this country. they brought diverse backgrounds and they brought expertise from various parts of the world. they made our melting pot in our country. and we have a history that has certainly shown a number of failures in our ideals, the idea that we would have had slavery as long as we did is amazing considering what we
thought we were doing. i guess we got over a lot of that. we had a lot of discrimination in this country as an outgrowth or along with the slavery. we've had all kinds of things like literacy tests for voting and lots of other things. and many of the things we've experimented with are not designed to make people feel welcome and included. now, some of these problems do continue today because of economic disadvantage, because of language issues and ethnicity. i live in the southwest, and we have a great number of hispanics living in the southwest. in some areas more than non-hispanic. that certainly is true in southern california. so how do we address that and what is the dynamic today and how do we handle it?
i think we've had major issues in the country based on some of these concerns of language, ethnicity and class. so we're going to hear from a number of experts today to talk to us about these different aspects and see what we do. now, i had a very simple solution when i was in the legislature in arizona and had leadership position there. how could we reach accord in that group? and i'll tell you what i did. it's pretty simple. i'd get everybody together and cook mexican food and we'd sit around outside and eat mexican food and drink beer and make friends with each other. that worked. so how as a nation can we sit around and eat mexican food and drink beer and make friends,
that's the question. if we can do that on a broader scale i think we'll come out of it all right, but i look forward to hearing some other ideas that aren't quite as offcenter as my own. and i will welcome the discussion and take notes and see if we can come up with some better solutions. thanks for letting me be here. [applause] >> the first panel is entitled "what's dividing us?" and i'm pleased to welcome
andres martinez. he is part of the bernard l. schwartz fellowship program. he was part of the "los angeles times" tw 2004 to 2007 and editorial page editor of "the new york times" and was a member of that board from 2000 to 2004. he was a 2004 pulitzer prize finalist for a series of editorials on the impacts of u.s. farm subsidies on the developing world. a native of mexico, mr. martinez irned a b.a. in history in yale and m.a. in russian history at stanford university and a j.d. at columbia university law school where he was a member of the columbia law review. please welcome mr. andres martinez. [applause] >> thank you. is it working? >> yes. >> ok. thank you all. it's a pleasure -- it's an honor to be here and i wanted
to first of all say that our partnership with arizona state university has been fantastic. my day job is with the new america foundation, the think tank here in washington and we have a very growing and enriching partnership with a.u. and i commend president crow for being here. today is my birthday and it's the first time i've been able to celebrate it with the supreme court! -- supreme court justice. i want to quickly introduce our panel. gregory has introduced himself. he's the founding director of the center of social cohesion, the senior fellow at the america new foundation. and gregory writes a column -- a weekly column for "the los angeles times" and is the author of "among rales "bastards, vagabonds." he likes to say it's a memoir about his family.
it's mexican immigration and the future of america which "the washington post" listed as one of the best new books in 2007. and he's working on a new book. and bill bishop lives in austin, texas. he co-authored with the university of texas sociologist robert cushing. bishop has also worked as a journalist. he and his wife owned and operated the basthrop county times. they now co-edit the daily yonder covering world america. we also have mike lindh who is a -- lind who is a colleague of mine at the new america foundation. he was one of the founders of new america and now he is the co-director of the economic
growth program and the next social contract initiative. michael is a very accomplished journalist as well. he's been a staff writer at "the new yorker," "harper" and an author. he writes frequently for "the financial times," "the new york times" and another where he has a weekly column. immediately to my write is james gimpel, a professor of government at the university of maryland at college park wheres' been on the faculty since 2-. his research includes -- 1992. his research includes political behaviors, elections, political geography and u.s. policy. james is topnotch in these fields. i know from firsthand experience on some roundtables that we served on together. his most recent book which is relevant to today's conversation is our patchwork nation: the 12 community types that make up our nation which he co-authored with dante
cheney in 2010. so having dispensed with introductions, i want to open with you, gregory, to tell us why are we here under the -- >> to celebrate your birthday. >> i know that. thank you. turning 31 is really traumatic. but this issue of social cohesion -- i mean, on the one hand i think that justice o'connor set the table very nicely in terms of talking about -- i loved her prescription that we should all go out and eat mexican food. in conjunction with new america to approach this topic that's so timely under this notion of social cohesion. and i thought we should start off by maybe having you describe why you seized upon that as the right framework and what are you trying to accomplish? >> i think i came to it -- i backed into it. i spent a lot of time at 10, 15
years looking at immigration and the simulation and cultureation and mostly my concern was how newcomers came part of the whole. 10 years into it i said, what's the whole and who's upholding it and how do we articulate it and what's the vision of our country? everyone on this panel thought about these things. what is the multicultural business sufficient with the multicultural forensics arose in 1970 when they had the lowest percentage of foreign-born now we're 14th. do we need a vision as a more -- that talks more about the core and the periphery? can we always take cohesion for granted? one of the -- my friends on the second panel, i'll steal a line. talking a lot about the difference between european and u.s. approaches to integration. and we both came across the
same thing. she coined the phrase which is the germans talk so incredibly well about integration but do it poorly. and we've historically well and talked about it poorly. i hope we can learn to talk about it in a way that's responsible. as michael crow has said, if anything, the goal of the center for social cohesion will be to, one, get americans to think about what it is that keeps us together and, two, perhaps no longer assume that it will happen without our great efforts to keep it together. >> so as part of your assumption that brings us here together that we are more divided than we used to be? maybe four years ago? >> it's less -- i think i -- i think i have to answer that in a way i live. i live in korea now. i live in the middle of los angeles. i'm one of the few people who is native born. i live in an area where they're 50% foreign born. they're either first or second generation americans.
i'm not necessarily concerned in the superlatives that we are most dwighted but concerned how -- divided but concerned how in a diverse fight election of obama, whether or not it was symbolically taken to signify some of the fundmental shift of the ethnic or racial composition in the country and i think my sense is as we diversify we need a greater sense of who we are, who we want to be and how we're going to achieve that. >> ok. to the rest of you i encourage you to use superlatives. we have members of the media here. michael, you and i talked a little bit about this and help us put this in a bit of a context in terms of your sense of how divided we are today as a society. >> well, i think there's a paradox of -- at the political level we're more divided if you look at partisan polarization since the civil war and reconstruction. at the social level i think
we're more integrated outside of immigrant enclaves than we've ever been in our entire history. i would phrase it this way. i think that american society is more -- is less divided than in the past. american politics is more divisive than it was in the past. so we have less division in one sense and more division in another. let's go back to 50 years, 1961, which is close to my birth date. at that point you had near civil war going on in much of the south. federal troops being deployed. assassinations, bombings, terrorism. you had restrictive covenants in much of the united states preventing not only african-americans and latinos but also jews and catholics from buying homes in suburbs. you had wall street law firms in elite clubs that discriminated on the basis of white ethnicity, not simply a
matter of race. all of that has changed dramatically. it's true we have a new wave of immigrants beginning in the 1970's and that causes tension as always with immigration do. if you look at the largest group, latinos, by the third generation, a majority of latinos marry out of their group which is a major index of the asimilar nation that you can come up with. as gregory pointed out in his group, in the next generation or so, first and second generation latinos will become a majority again and it shifts the dynamic after world war i when european ethnics were native born and assimilated. what accounts for the fact that even though objectively we're more degrated in my opinion there's more division and more ranker and more partisanship. my colleagues all have their own ideas about this. i'd like to throw out two
factors which might otherwise not be discussed. external and internal. in 1961 there was an establishment that repressed the expression of a lot of -- the division that did exist. you did not have 900 channels with a john berk society channel, you know, and a black panther channel. the media were controlled by mostly northern elite, white males and certain things could be expressed. so william f. buckley jr. and george will expressed the right but you didn't have the equivalence of some of -- you did at the local level. there was the county guy with the radio show who is the demagogue. you had a homogenuity, for the most part the breakdown was welcomed. there is this kind of chaos now so that things which always existed these divisions are now
being expressed the way they weren't in the past. the idea i'd like to float before wrapping up is that the end of the cold war may have un corked a certain amount of ranker in american politics. if you go back to the politics where we faced no foreign threats, after the end of the napoleonic wars, the world tore itself apart in the civil war. and the napoleonic wars where the jeffersonians and the hamiltonians said we need to repress this division in order to survive in this war of world and states. if you go back to the 1930's you had the lobby of saying that franklin roosevelt was a fascist. you had roosevelt announcing the economic royalists. as soon as war approached in europe at that point the rhetoric was toned down and it
removed fairly toned down all the way up until the end of the cold war. i think a lot of the rhetoric that is now routine among mainstream politicians would not have been tolerated even as late as the 1980's. those are two factors. >> so we can afford to be divisive? >> it's a time of peace and prosperity. >> it's interesting, i feel like the tone did change for about 10 months after 9/11 which would suggest that you're on to something. although, how do you square if politicians flourish by being divisive and we live in a representative government and according to your view the public at large is not that divided, why that disconnect? how can people in washington get ahead by being more divisive and their constituents are divided? >> well, we have the electorate. we have the selectorate, the
people that select the candidates. all the way up until the 16970's the parties chose the candidates. they wanted middle of the road people. the democratic party which were followed by the republicans, they created a modern primary slation and it was a democratic reform. it was open things up to popular participation. but what it meant was that i stead of the party elders choosing center right, center left candidates you had people of the single digit percentages of the electorate, the activists of the left and right who vote in the primaries. so i think that's a major factor. the -- every politician now, and you'll see this in the 2012 presidential race, you have to veer way over to one side to get the nomination and then you go running back towards the center. that was not the case when you had, you know, the 30th votes at the national convention when the state delegations, you know, were trading for which
kind of the middle of the road candidate. >> want to bring in bill to the discussion because of, you know this is a good segue. michael is talking about the fact that the parties themselves have sort of -- they sorted themselves out and political scientists have talked a lot about this sorting out that occurred, that you no longer have this significant overlap between republicans and democrats. not that long ago. we can all recall a time that even those of us who are 31 when you had republicans they were considerably more liberal than conservative democrats and vice versa. now there's been this great sorting out that overlap no longer exists as people like bill gosm and others have written about and also you, bill mplets but your book "the big sort" goes beyond that and doesn't talk about the sorting out that occurred at the sort of the political class level but you go much deeper of the sorting out that's kird among -- occurred among americans. give us the overview of how you
came into this. >> we came into it because we were interested in why. i lived from kentucky and moved to texas. we wanted to know why some places were getting richer and other places were getting poorer. what we found was that overtime places in the united states are getting increasingly different from one another in a fundamental way. so for instance, up until the early 19 0's most cities were getting closer together in terms of the percentage of people who lived there, percentage of adults with b.a. degrees. since that time until the last figures i looked at in 2009, most places were falling away from the mean. people with college degrees are clustering in some places and abandoning areas. the same with true with patent production. so economic production began to differ increasingly from place to place. income differentials began to increase from place to place.
as we began to look at all these things, every time we looked at a factor we took down to the county level we saw an increasing divergens within the 3,100 counties that are in the united states. so suicide rates have begun to differentiate between rural and urban places. 2/3 of the united states counties either republicans or democrats are increasing so that counties are tipping and becoming increasingly either republican or democratic. for the first time ever in the united states history beginning in the early 1980's the longevity rates in about 1,000 u.s. counties have either stopped or started going backwards as the economic differences from place to place. so essentially what we're seeing is this weird event where we live is becoming more homogeneous. my precinct in austin, texas, is like 99%. it's unbelievable.
but from place to place within the united states we're seeing greater diversity. we're living in increasing conformity in a country where from community to community is becoming increasingly different in fundamental ways. whether we spank our kids or not spank, just everywhere we can measure. >> you might -- maybe you get tired of brg asked this because i've seen -- being asked this because i've seen a lot of your coverage of your book zeroed in on the statistic about the number of the -- the percentage of counties that were landslide counties in 1976. i want you to repeat that because i think that's a startling illustration of what you're talking about. >> we tried to figure out ways of describing this. finally we just looked at those -- at the percentage of voters who lived in counties where in close presidential elections the election locally wasn't close at all. in 1976 close election about a quarter of the people lived in
counties where either ford or carter won by 20 percentage points or more. in 2008 about half the people lived in a county where either obama or mccain won by 20% or greater. and you can -- it's almost a stair step pattern. the trend increases i think on through 2010 as you saw those rural counties and rural congressional districts that had flopped democratic -- went back to their normal republican roots. >> so is this people opting in to like minded communities or pre-existing communities going in one direction or the other is this occurring because people are picking up and moving to live with people like themselves? >> jim can chime in on this because he has some recent research. people i think are moving to be around those who are like
themselves. not necessarily politically. i don't think politics has anything to do with it. i think it's ways of life tell you more about a person's politics than policy or demographics. and so as bigger institutions in the country dissolve and people are having to create their own identities, they have to choose their own gods, they have to choose their own sex, they have to choose their own family style, it's easier to do that when you're in a community where your choices are being reinforced. every four years that results in communities that vote increasingly alike. this is really a lifestyle choice that is the result of a society that has big institutions that are falling apart. >> ok. great. jim, you've added to the cannon of literature of how this country's divide. i should pair thentically make a pitch for one of our new
america fellows, joe gereau. in 16981 he wrote this book, "the nine nations of north america." now you've identified 12 separate americas and why don't you talk a bit about what you found? >> well, i think our work has somewhat overlapped with bill bishop and bob cushing's work. one important concept is the idea of party extension, the idea in political science that partisanship has been extended to ever more parts of our lives. at one point partisanship was about economics, about socioeconomic status, about class status and that pretty much defined republicans from democrats in large part. ok. it seems like in the 1960's and
1970's, as bill bishop and bob cushing point out in their book, the economic foundations of the party system, while they remain there but overlayed on top of that came these cultural issues and divisions as partisanship became extended into these other areas that bill has talked about. and so now, you know, republican and democrat doesn't just mean, you know, lower income versus higher income but it means all these other things swrl. to the point where, you know, we can look at the kind of music preference that you have. some psychologists have done this already and predict your partisanship on that basis. we can look at your food preferences and your snack preferences. you know, this is, of course, what microtargeting is all about. i don't think they are as good as they want to be or claim
they are but they're moving in that direction. part of that is partisanship has extended to these other noneconomic preferences. and i think that those are things that contribute to division. >> for those of you who are not familiar with jim's book, i'll give you a sense of some of these 12 americas which do feel very much -- sound very much like, you know, marketing categories and you've got people who work in counties -- congressional district or county? by county that could be referred to rather prozehically as service worker centers or military, evangelical epicenters and empty nests around so forth. you can go to the website, "patchworknation.org and plug in your zip code and find which
one of these you live in. it's kind of fun. >> it's not just about immigrant and native. for one thing there are political divisions are not about immigrant native because so many immigrants aren't involved. they don't participate much. they don't have high levels of political knowledge. so it isn't just about immigrant and native although that's something worth talking about. the political divisions are nor about, you know, rival native groups. and now they're defining themselves. >> this is very interesting because we're very familiar with this debate around media and people self-selecting now, where they seek their information and we're in this trend in media and publishing and cable tv news where you can pretty much tailor the kind of information you want to be exposed to as opposed to the old model of broadcasting where we would all sit down and listen to walter cronkite or be
exposed to whatever information editors at "the washington post" or "the new york times" want us to be part of. we are our own filters. the founder of moveon.org's book is called "the filter bubble" and it's about the dangers of us being sheltered from anything that challenges our own beliefs. and this is coming from the founder of moveon.org. which i find interesting. jake weisberg writing about this today, i thought he had a very apt metaphor. it's now possible to imagine world in which every person creates his own mental fortress and apprehends the outside world through digital aeroslip. michael, you said at the beginning, we are not much more divided than we used to be.
bill and jim telling us that people are living in parts of america that look more different than each other than they night have. >> there's a way to reconcile these two narratives which is we've gone from involuntary balkanization to volunteer untear balkanization. involuntary, if you were irish catholic you could not get into the ivey league school under the quota or could not get into the neighborhood or so on. volunteer untear balkanization, if you want to live green and live a pedestrian lifestyle you can move to portland. if you want to have the reverse you can move to houston. and it doesn't matter what your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation is necessarily. these are kind of lifestyle communities. are there problems with that? does it threaten social cohesion? well it certainly does in some degrees. is it the kind of absolute
nightmarish threat that these descriptive hierarchies of race and ethnicity and gender work? i don't think so. in a sense just looking in a broad historical perspective, this is a nice problem to have. it's a good problem to have if people have the choice to get into these different clubs as opposed to being slauted into something by faith. >> if someone can choose their own gated community and there is no restrictive covenants, as you mentioned earlier, that's a good thing for them to have? >> if you have a-run one-class society and people decided to be bohemians and people decide to be puritans, that's one thing. as we've seen we have an increasingly stratified class system in this country for depirch reasons. the allocation of people by -- different reasons. the allocation of people by race is not by the class system. you do have the problem that the older ascriptive class
system is gone none, it can be perpetuated by the dynamics of class because people inherent the class of their parents. i think it's particularly a problem. the lifestyle communities don't bother me that much. the gated communities where all of the suburbs in metro area are strictly ranked by degrees of $20,000 within each one, the incomes are pretty much the same. >> and their school performance tracks that. >> exactly. i wouldn't necessarily look that problem of class segregation in with the lifestyle diversity issue. >> gregory, so what's dividing us? >> i'm less hopeful of a nation with 900 channels. i'm trying not to be nostalgic for walter cronkite. it's not really about the choosing of clubs that bothers me either. it's the minority consciousness that often comes with the
choosing of that club. again, early in my work i did a lot of things on california and ethnicity. again, and i essentially traced and predicted early on that the latino population as it gained majority status demographically would begin to gain a majority consciousness and therefore -- a sense that they're responsible for whole. what i fear now, and i've written about several times, including a new america issue in "time" magazine is we're seeing the emergeans white -- emergence white minority consciousness. it's the point of which all americans became members of a grieved minority with the election of barack obama. one said an anti-white bias seem to be on the increase. if you look at that study closely, it's not only that
variety find is seen anti-white bias on the rise, they're actually, according to this survey, this -- these respondents actually saw white -- anti-white bryas as a worse social problem than anti-black bias. i don't know if we can objectively say that's true. so i'm really concerned at this poison of a country -- and we go bags to arthur sleshinger's favorite book "the disunited of america" and this is exactly what he worried about. he thought it was coming from blacks or latinos. we're seeing the submergeans of a white minority consciousness in the united states. to me that's the biggest fear i have. to what extent will whites be an -- a more egriefed race than any other in the history? >> you have a boost of
commentators on your column because every time you write about angry whites you get about 500 people chiming in. they're very pleasant and well thought out comments. ronald bromstein from "the national journal" wrote me and said he really wanted to be here. he had a conflict. he said -- he wanted me to reference a poll that the national journal did that actually to gregory's point found that whites are ominously -- this is the way ron characterized it -- they're more pessimistic than minorities about the prospects for their children. so you have -- we've reached a point where, you know, blacks and latinos are more optimistic about the future of their kids than whites. to your point about the sense of grievance. i should also say ron's book "second civil war" would fit very well in this canon of books examining what dwites us.
-- dividing us. washington now is more divide than the rest of the country and it used to be the other way around. jim, you mentioned also this rival native segments of our population being more the source of tension and division perhaps than what we tend to think of the frictions around immigrants. do you want to build on what gregory was saying or -- >> i think that, you know, obviously different groups of natives can have very different attitudes about immigration which, of course, can be a source of division. ok. that's in there. that helps to define the party system too. but i'm not sure that immigrants themselves are necessarily the main or the largest components of any kind of, you know, pro-immigration, activist community. i think the evidence suggests
that too many immigrants are nonparticipants even when naturalized, they don't tend to have high levels of political knowledge or very high levels of activism. they're new to the country. they're learning the ropes. obviously there are exceptions such as socialized generalization. immigration politics and of course the discussion that we could have in this forum or elsewhere about whether we should have a more generous and open policy or, you know, close down the border, that's certainly something that natives can come at each other about with some intensity. >> do you feel, as gregory does, wlites are becoming -- whites are becoming an agrieved minority? >> i think that's a very interesting point and it's something worth monitoring and it's worth further study. i certainly there are there are quite a few whites out there. i think as manifest in certain elements of the tea party movement that are concerned about immigration.
the tea party groups particularly in the southwest i think. i don't think all of the tea party is animated by immigration by any means. i think there are elements of it that are concerned about those issues and the idea that, you know, they could effectively become an agrieved minority with some political influence in power, it's definitely worth watching. >> i'm skeptical. if you go back to the 1960's you had daniel bell and richard hofschteder,. and then you had -- i remember every headline in "newsweek" in the 19750es and 1980's it was the evil, angry white male, right? the white working class became the scapegoat for the white liberal elite and libry tarian elite. this country would work well if
it wasn't for these reactionary working class whites. i just don't see this in the white working class. you know, this story is half a century old. the ku klux klan, the white supremacy, is weaker than ever. as i point out, if you look at white, latino, asian intermarriage, it's grown significantly from a very low level. it's increasing with generation after generation. on social issues, the white liberal class is more liberal than their parents, working parents. i'm skeptical of this. it's a meafert time. if we lived back in 1914 you might have a bunch of anglo saxon trot stands saying if this world has broken down with all of these jews and greeks and italians. we can sit here and talk about whites is because all of those european ethnic identities
collapsed. by the 1970's most so-called european americans, polish americans, italian americans had multiple european angelo ancestors. in the 1970's, boom, it was it. little italy, little sweden. what we'll see by far the largest minority, latinos, we're about 20 or 30 years away from that collapse. it's kind of where we were, let's say the new immigrants in 1914, where the germans and italians in 1840, where they were these distinked groups. >> i want to get back to bill in a second and broaden up the discussion. before that, gregory, i know you thought about the changing definition, what it means to be white, for michael's point. >> this poll was not a survey of white response to immigration. it was whites -- it was a poll of whites and blacks only. >> right.
>> it wasn't vis-a-vis immigration per se they were feeling -- that they were being discriminated against. this is another discussion. i don't want to get too far into it. the extinct to the collapse of those ethnicities is this overall bigger problem which is the collapse of white -- mary waters at harvard did a book "ethnic options" and the sense of the loss of individual rootedness in the sense of specialness as one becomes white can also create feeling of loneliness. the whitish in itself i would argue is partly a social problem. it does lead to this -- this notion of people having to create what they are, the burden of what did you say, they had to create their own gods, that's a tremendous individual burden which i think we haven't really faced what that really means.
what ultimate freedom -- that's ultimate freedom, choosing who our gods are. and i think that's a problem we are increasingly going to have to face. >> and -- >> rootlessness. >> two results of this i think are interesting. one is one out of 10 of everybody over the age of 6 in the united states is on some sort of antidepressant. and the burden of having to make those choices all the time, depression is essentially a disease of inaction and inaction in this -- in a society where you have to make choices all the time is -- winds up in depression. the second thing is, as big groups break down, politics becomes more individual. public issues are only thought of in terms of individual solutions. so when we think of environmental issues, you know, we want to -- what can i do as an individual? so as the groups break down,
more burden is put on the person to create his or her own world, winds up in depression and the politics of that kind of society is what is all individual and so the group movement of class and of -- >> and it's all zor -- all zero some. there's the cliche of all government spending is wasteful unless it's i'm getting part of it. >> and so the big policy since 16980 has been tax policy. earned income tax credit on the low end. tax credit on the high end. >> where do you come on this issue that michael raised about, the idea that perhaps washington is -- people here are more divided and more divisive than back home where you are where real people live? do you see some credence to that? >> elites are always more divided than voters, right?
but i tell you, when i go from congress in austin, texas, to fayette county, schulenburg, texas, in front of the k.c. hall, there are the largest pieces of steel fetuses hanging from the -- anti-abortion display, you know, there's a hell of a big difference from place to place. >> well, austin is a particular oasis. >> it's -- >> island of something? >> yeah. go from harlem county to louisville. there is just big differences in every way we live and think and every four years -- >> i think a lot of our conversation here is predisposing that this is somehow a problem and i think that's one of the things that's animating -- >> here's the problem -- >> there are others who pointed
out that maybe this isn't all bad. allen abram brimowitz at emery wrote a very compelling book about the disappearing center where he argues that this is all good. there was nothing intrinsically sound about having, you know, back in the good old days a democratic party that encompassed both pro-segregation southerners and northeast liberals. we celebrate the overlap and cohesiveness of that. he says this is nonsense. now you have a more educated electorate that's sorted itself out and people who are passionate and are choosing to watch fox news or msnbc, they're more engaged. this is something we should allem brace. so what's wrong with that analysis? let me ask bill and then i'll give it to you. >> well, i agree with that. i think the trouble is we have
less cross-cutting relationships where we fight during the day about one issue and have mexican food and drink beer at night and are friends on other issues. this is something jim talked about as every issue becomes left and right and predictable, we're less likely to have occasions where our enemies become our friends. there's a saying in some african tribes that they are our enemies, we mary them. knowing that -- we marry them. knowing that those cross-cutting relationships are essential to keep divisive societies together. we don't -- match.com, one of the first things they match people on is their politics and there are few occasions in d.c. where enemies are friends are -- and it gets mixed up. >> i think partisan intensity has been good for political
participation, right? and so political participation levels are up because of vigorous competition tends to stir emotion and stir the impetus, stimulate the impetus to go out and vote. so participation levels are up. from that perspective, it's good. so it depends on how you evaluate and how you're coming at it. i think from the perspective of tolerance it could well be intolerance is extended via these kind of divisions again to more venues so it's not just a race any more. it's church or not. it's lifestyle, these other cultural dimensions of cleavage. i do hope if -- i do think if there's hope anywhere, most of the red-blue division is urban-rural, right? and people continue to mix in
suburb han communities. they continue to be purple. of course, there are lots of different kinds of suburbs, i acknowledge that. but still from a geographic standpoint, those cultureless suburbs seem to be the place where there's still hope for mixing and integration. . >> i have a question for my fellow panelists. if you look at the 188 ost, 1900's, preworld war i, it occurs to me, the period from the new deal until fairly recently, you had the transition with the southern conservative democrats leaving the democratic party, the republican liberals entering the democratic party this long multigenerational switch of constituents system of that by the election of barack obama, pretty much you're at the pattern that you had before
world war i, that is, you have the southern and western party, which then was william jennings bryant, now is the republicans, and the more liberal mid western party. it seems if you go back to that period, you get the same polarization. from the civil war up until really the depression, prohibition, this was a huge thing, right? and sunday shopping. all of these issues that would be culture war issues today. so in other words, is our idea of the american past being one with these inclusive parties, is that a post-new deal phenomenon? >> i think a lot of culture science was wringing its hands about the decline of partisanship and the absence of poe czarization and now we're
wringing our hands in the opposite. maybe the lesson is that social scientists like to wring their hands. that could well be. i won't contest that there have been times in our past that have been as polar sized and -- if not more so than this. >> and the early time too. i was struck by something jim said about the the nor of our times, you can tell people the kind of music you like and churn out the list of positions that you can ascribe to a person, you know, you can sort of ballpark it. but i do think one of the things that's changed of late is even at -- weighing in from a position of an editorial page of a newspaper, i think nowadays there's an expectation that if you take a side on one issue,
your readers and you know politicians should be able to therefore infer where you're going to come down on every other issue. it's sort of, you know, you have to be in trench or the other. it's getting increasingly difficult. i understand why it would be increasingly difficult for people who are practicing politics but even people who try to set themselves um -- up as ar bitters to just separate issues on their own merit because of the notion that, if you take one side on a debate about trade, it must mean you take this issue over here on the issue of choice. and things that are completely unrelated but you're supposed to be on one team or the other and people get angry and confused if you start mixing and matching and trying to plot an independent course. that was something that i think is very frustrating about the media environment we live in. but it's informed by the
political culture. one last thought -- question before we shift and take some comments and questions from you all is, michael and anybody else who has a though on this, i wanted to ask, we're living at a time of economic anxiety. high unemployment. stubbornly high unemployment. do you think it would be possible to go back and correlate whether the way that we talk about politics and the sort of acrimony in our public debates tracks with sort of how the economy is doing? is part of this the underlying unease? or are we talking about something broader? >> i think if you look back to the beginning of the industrial period, and that's when you start having depressions, not before that. you have the long depression of the 1870st, 1890's. you have the great depression, and this is a quasi-depression.
it's troubling to look back at the political response in the united states and europe. for the most part, you've got quasi-civil war politics on both sides of the atlantic, the rise of the radical right. the late 19th century, it was authoritarianism, militant nationalism, imperialism. outside of france and the united states and britain and a couple of countries in scandinavia, the rise of radical militarism, obviously in hitler's germany and muss leaney's italy. i think there's a link. when there's slow growth, you'd think everyone would say, let's pitch in together and save the nation. it's not just here in most democracies of which we had the
experience, people divide and the subgroups, whatever they may be, you want to hang on to what you have an the fear that someone else will do better than you in a shrinken economy tends to power politics. it's a very frightening -- >> it exacerbates the zero sum mentality. bill, do you want to say something? >> it doesn't relate these days. we didn't like one another when things were going good. that's because politics now is not based on class groups, it's baseden lifestyle groups. and so, you know, those sorts of relationships are broken. >> i would say the kind of -- the lack of cohesion that i worry about is not a function of the economy as much as a function of democracy. when whites became a minority, for instance, in the largest state in the union, that -- you
had to recalibrate what it meant to be a majority and minority. i think that's a profound discussion we simply haven't had, what it means to be a member of a minority and who obligations and responsibilities they have to the whole. i think it's going to happen. i don't think bad economic times helps but i think it was -- and for instance in california, for instance, polls on immigration and racial issues are good right now. shockingly good. but it's a long overdue, the country is changing and we still talk about it in the way we did 40 years ago. >> let's open it up to all of you and take some questions. i assume that, yeah, we want to please wait for the microphone and identify yourselves. why don't we start in the back. >> many of the -- there are some
things you express, i don't agree. when it's divided, people don't want to be divided but they are forced to be divided. they communicate with lower incomes in a sense that these those lower incomes, their house had been robbed or their income had been robbed, they don't want anybody to communicate with them. in guantanamo bay, those people are not allowed to communicate no lawyers no family. my point is, can you really put all those information because of
improper processing, could you make an effort to reach out to those people who are minorities in a sense, they are not to have their voice heard, maybe you can look into the complaints or dig into the system, they have a lot of cases that have been suppressed, they aren't allowed to talk. could you just -- i share my experience and identify the problem. >> thank you. yes. it's an interesting question about whether more voices are being suppressed today than were in the past and there's -- a lot of people talk about the demockryization of the public square -- the democrat sigs of the public -- democratization of
the public scare. how would you address the concern that even today there are people whose voices aren't being heard and what can we do about that? >> in all democracies, access to having your opinion broadcast, the costs of access are falling but it still makes a difference. if you're a billionaire and fund various media outlets, you have much more weight in the public debate than an average citizen even in the public debate. but again, i think this is a good problem to have. that is, to have too many, too raucous debates rather than too few. in particular, what we see in the entire industrial democratic world now, like the arab spring, except you call it the western spring, you have movements in europe, the united states and
japan of people rebeling against the political classes which presided over this 30-year bubble that ended in disaster. and the last thing i think we would want at this stage would be to have the three networks, you know, edward r. murrow, walter cronkite, and others, as notable as they were, saying, well this is the consensus opinion. there's a time for dissonance. >> thank you. my name is dr. caroline poplin, i'm a physician and baby boomer. i'm 64. you haven't really talked about the enormous right ward shift that i've seen over my lifetime. in the 1950's and 1960's, we were all sort of proceeding on new deal terms. there was not nearly the enormous difference between rich and poor there is now. i've always wondered why it is
that most people, the working class, white or black, the middle class, are voting for candidates whose interests -- who are voting for policy whs don't serve their interests. these people don't pay high income taxes, they're not affected by the deficit, the economy ran much better when demand was higher, when the inequality was lower, but this has no traction with the majority of people in the country and i don't understand that. >> so bill -- so jim, the question is, what's the matter with kansans? >> for a lot of these folks, the metaphorical kansans, they've seen red administrations and blue administrations come and go and come and go and economic circumstances haven't changed for them. all right? so if you see new 1kwr5d mrgses
of various parties come and go and come and go and economic circumstances don't change no matter which party is in power, pretty soon you'll figure out it doesn't make any sense to vote on the basis soft economic issues. that's going to be pretty much the same. you're on the periphery of the economy. you're not in the core. so what are you -- what do you decide to vote on, then? you vote on those things that could yield change or that you imagine could possibly change. but you've never seen your economic plate change because -- no matter who is in power that's what's going on. >> can i add something to that? in the new deal period this country was not liberal socially. frankly roosevelt's new deal coalition was southern segregations who believed every bible of the -- of the -- every word of the birle was try,
northern catholics and a handful of progressives in the northeast. the country is more socially liberal, according to all the polls, on abortion, on gay rights, divorce, you name it than it's ever been in history. so at the economic level, there's been a shift from new deal liberalism to economic conservatism but part of that, i think, was the fact that a lot of social issues had been nationalized in the course of the last half century. no one ever asked john f. kennedy or franklin roosevelt what they felt about gay marriage, right? or about censorship of the movies. those things were bitterly contested but at the city and state level, not the federal level. >> i should clarify, the reference to kansas is of course tom wrote this book called "what's the matter with kansas" where me looked into the question of why, in his view, so
many people in red states vote against their economic interests. and i think jim's answer is a provocative one, and bill mentioned that what divides us might be less class than cultural issues. i guess you could argue perhaps the political classes stir up other issues to get people riled up about those and of course people disagree about the right economic prescriptions too. >> a question over here to your right. >> i'm mark, i'm going to throw a bomb. the title of this whole session is, can the united states stay united. i'm from illinois, god morbid. we grew up on abe lincoln. i'm going to ask the question, given the division, should we stay united? >> gregory? mr. social cohesion.
should this country stay united? >> i think we all assume that we agree, absolutely. that seems to be the general point. perhaps you believe otherwise. >> politics say we shouldn't. >> anyone else want to -- i mean, i suppose, bill, you, your work and jim, your work has suggested that people are opting to not stay united in many ways. we have a big tent in the united states but if you live in a community where 99% of people voted the way you did and have the same sensibilities, in a way we are kind of succeeding, right? from some common space? though we're keeping the country intact. >> but can we develop the new
institutions that make diversity a strength? because the old institutions that made diversity a strength have lost their hold. and that's the political question that -- >> could you explain what the biggest -- >> the church. people used to belong to mainline churches and the churches were -- people belonged to rotary clubs and you know, and now people don't see themselves as members of groups, they see themselves as sovereign individuals. >> my name is bonney, i'm a teacher, i didn't hear anything about education. some of us did not come here as immigrants. my mother's native american my dad is black. some of our voices are being left out. but i think in social media, there's a way for people to input a little bit. the problem is, everybody doesn't have broadband. i didn't hear any discussion of the inequity of access to the conversations that are going on
other than in the press. what do you think? how can we change for education, for teachers, for people working with kids, how can we use social media to change? i know sandra day o'connor has ideas, what about the rest of you? >> jim do you have any -- i know we talked a little bit about, michael alluded to the fact that we can't presuppose we're in a society where everybody has the right access to make the same type of choices when we're talking about gated communities, bringing in education i think is a valuable point and jim, do you have ideas? >> yes, literacy is -- across individuals and across communities, you can predict where political literacy is lowest. these are poor communities and immigrant communities, that's very clear. i think that it's probably helpful to think of other institutions aside from just
schools, however, as educators. the political parties obviously play a role as educators, so do advocacy groups. therefore other institutions out there that can play a role in elevating the level of political knowledge than just public schools. because of course public schools, thee zivic literacy enterprise there is so highly politicized that possibly the way to approach the darkness in political knowledge is through other means. >> i actually like your point about, you know, raising broadband, because i think increasingly, where not long ago that felt like a luxury, the band width you had to access the information superhighway, to date myself, that's an important
measure of how one can participate in zivic life and at new america, we have a team of people at the think tank thinking about, shouldn't this be a public right? and how do we transform thinking about that? because you're right, penetration of broadband is not uniform across the country. it remains inaccessible for a lot of people. >> another question to your right. >> my name is shelly weinstein, and i'd like to come back to what our professors are basing on the rationale and reason why we have this great divide at the local community where citizens are living and there was a statement made that i would like to challenge somewhat along which came first, the chicken or the egg. the statement was, people do not make a decision for where they live having anything to do with politics. in part that may be true but
leaves out the entire supreme court decision about one man, one vote and since the 1970's, what we have seen happen in local communities at the state level, at the county level, one man, one vote, redistricting, the leadership of this country, that is there to represent the people, tends to redistrict where they think they're going to get the majority of votes so is it that people have moved into this community because of their culture or their job or the school, and then the leadership says, oh my goodness, we would like to win a state office or local office or the presidency, we're going to redistrict and gerrymander around where all these people that have the same view and same likes, even if it's personally, probably are not true, politically are the same. i'd like to ask how you can make the social decisions without
looking at redistricting and the lack of leadership and what technology has played in their role about gerrymandering or redistricting. >> here's the short story on redistricting, which is, when we looked at stuff, we looked at the county level. congressional districts over time have gotten more partisan. they -- partisan. they did not become more partisan at the time of redistricting. they became more partisan between redistricting as people began to move or change their views. redistricting has not overall, please tell me if i'm wrong, but redistricting overall has not increased partisanship in congress. >> i have a slightly different take on her question. i'll try to answer it in some recent survey data. recent survey data from knowledge network suggests that as many as 30% of movers will
take into account the partisan composition of the destination when they consider a move. now, it's not the primary consideration, it's not usually first on the list. first on the list has always been jobs and family an friends. but notice something about family and friends, maybe not jobs. many times family and friends are similar. so making a decision based on family and friends may sort you indirectly. that's interesting even if you do not explicitly take into account the partisan composition of a place in a move you can do it inadvertently based on family and friends or other cultural
preferences. church, for example. if you mention church as an important destination cry tierian, you're not only more likely to be republican but you're more likely to settle near republicans when you relocate. [inaudible] >> then they are making decisions about this, so one man, one vote, whether that is minority or majority, whatever the culture is, and not deliberately gerrymandering to make sure that the voices of people are so separated and divided we have had the situation. >> ok, i have an answer for that too. i think that the kind of sorting that's occurring incrementally and that bill talks about in his book, makes one party and lopsided districts much more likely. i think the important obligation
then, possibly, of the courts and the court system, would be to move toward mandating to the extent possible the drawing of political competitive districts. now that may involve, you know, moving the redistricting process into nonpartisan commissions the way iowa and a few other states have gone. perhaps it involves some other kinds of solutions. but that would be one thing that i would like to see or could advocate for. because we need competitive elections. >> there's a very rich, as i understand it, and very contentious literature on the discussion about the extent to which redistricting is exacerbating political division. there's strong disagreements. i think there's a lot of incumbent protection and unfortunate cases of minority packing, this has happened in texas and elsewhere. but i think the problem is
broader. it's a rich subject that we could have a whole event around. jay? >> at this point, we'll have to take our last question. we ask that you join us for light refreshment back over there and we'll continue with the program shortly thereafter. >> my name is hugh. i'm interesting on pulling the string on that intriguing insight about lifestyle instead of class and applying it to the idea of the whites as a disgruntled minority. so we sort of arugula eating liberal -- liberals are not disgruntled but there's some steak and epotato eating high income professionals who are? >> are what? >> disgruntled. what do they have to be disgruntled about? >> i don't know who is disgruntled and who isn't. i just know they're different and those differences are
extending across political boundies. -- boundaries. it's not just about different about using lawn chemicals or not, but what car they drive, all the things bush and obama use to identify people. demographics becomes less of an issue. >> do you want to talk more about that? >> ok, well this has been a terrific panel. thank you so much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> thank you all. we're very, very pleased to have profess joran dal kennedy with us today. he'll be giving a keynote address entitled what is america's deepest fault line. randall kennedy is michael r. klein professor at the harvard law school where he teaches on contract, criminal law and race relations he served under thurgood marshall of the united states supreme court. his most recent books are "nigger: the strange career of a trouble spsm word," "intelligence, marriage, identity" and "sellout. the american academy of arts and sciences, the american academy of philosophy, he holds degrees from princeton, oxford university, and yale law school.
please welcome mr. randall kennedy. [applause] >> there are policies dictated by dictatorial social cohesion. that's not the sort the center wishes to foster through research, study and debate. the cohesion that the center seeks to foster is a democratic, pluralistic cohesion that frames a decent society. there are now, there have long been a number of fault lines in america that me nass the
prospect of an attractive social cohesion. i think here of religious bias, particularly nowadays, prejudice against muslims. gender bias, particularly mistreatment of women. sexual bias, particularly discriminations against gays an lesbians. what, though, is america's deepest fault line? it is the boundary that separates those with sufficient resources to undergird the enjoyment of a relatively secure, dig fied, hopeful, skill-enhanced existence from those, the impoverished, who are consigned to insecurity, humiliation, isolation, and other baleful conditions. the resources to which i refer are manifold. they include parents, nutrition, health care, housing, education and employment. but in the background of each of
these resources, nourishing them inconspicuously just like water, is money. that's why the boundary between adequate financing and severe financial want marks the most far-reaching but mystified division in american life. those without a decent financial minimum are much more vulnerable than those with a decent minimum to the terrors of nature, bad luck, and communal failure. as the journalist david schiff ler puts it, being poor mens being unprotected. as i've used the term "the poor" -- as i use the term, "the poor" are those at or beneath the government's poverty line. the poverty threshold for an individual under 65 in 2009 was $11,161. for an adult with one child, it
was $17,268. for two adults with three children it was $25,603. and so on and so forth. the formula for determining the poverty threshold has detractors. the formula has not been substantially revised in over half a century. it does not take into account regional differences. it does not take into account certain noncash forms of income and by the same token doesn't take into account certain expenses. some, mainly liberals, contend that the poverty line is too low and thus underinclusive, while others maintain it is too high and thus overinclusive. i agree with the former but my purpose here is not to explore, much less settle, a complicated method logical dispute. my purpose is to highlight a highly toxic condition that
received all too little attention and empathy, the condition of severe financial deprivation. for that purpose, the federal poverty line works satisfactorily. my direct concern is not with inequality per se. rather my direct concern is with privation. i'm not so much alarmed by the state of the sose yo economic ceiling, more particularly its absence which favors the wealthy. rather i'm alarmed by the state of the sose yo economic floor, more particularly its sagging inadequacy. how many people in america are poor? the number is, or should be, arresting. according to bureau of the census in 2009, 14.3% of all persons in america lived in poverty. that represents some 43.5 million people.
10 million more than the entire population of canada. 35% of the population of the american impoverished are children. what does it mean concretely to be poor? poverty can have many meanings. the poor are by no means monolithic. most stay impoverishes only intermittently, but then already the hard core poor, the underclassed, the disadvantaged, who remain mired beneath the poverty line for long stretches of time. regardless of whether they are short-term or long-term inmates of poverty, the poor face perilous, painful and worst of all crippling circumstances. among the consolation of things poverty may mean are the following. being dependent upon financial institutions such as pay dei loan outlets that charge ewe
injurious fee tosser vis those unable to afford bank accounts. living in housing that, with its mold, mice droppings, roaches and nearby toxic dumps, exacerbates your child's asthma. being unable to pay an ambulance or an emergency room bill and having one's credit downgraded on account of the delinquency. living in neighborhoods me nassed simultaneously by criminals and police, who when dealing with the poor, fail all too often to recall that their job is to protect and serb, not harass and intimidate. growing up in homes in which uneducated adults fail to prepare children for school in their most impressionable years. welcoming jail or even prison as a respite from the utter destitution of the street. for after all, in the joint, one
at least received shelter, health care and meals, even if these items are delivered behind bars with the accompaniment of handcuffs and the debilitating effects of a criminal record. being unable to flee a flooding city for lack of transportation. or alternative housing. impoverishment means for many living apart from the so-called mainstream of american society. the sectors of society to which politicians pay some heed. it means being hidden in plain sight behind an odd curtain of invisibility. it means residing in what michael hearon termed "the other america." it means being unable to even enter bankruptcy. this puts me in mind of a case decided by the supreme court in 1973. the united states vs. cras.
cras was an indigent who challenged the law that made him have to pay $50 to file bankruptcy. they upheld the constitutionality of the fee requirement. writing for the court, justice harry blackmon evidenced the skepticism that often greets protests about the predicament of the poor. quote, if the $50 are paid in installment, the average weekly payment is $1.28. this is a sum less than the payments cras makes on his couch of negligible value in storage and less than the price of a movie and little more than the cost after pack or two of cigarettes.
if, as he alleges, a discharge in bankruptcy will afford him that new start he so desires, and if he really needs and desires that discharge, this much available revenue should be within his able bodied reach. end of quote. my old boss, justice thurgood marshall, had a different, better view. quote, i cannot agree with the majority, he declared in dissent, that it is so easy for the desperately poor to save each week -- that it is so easy for the desperately poor to save each week over the course of six months. the 1970 census found that over 800,000 families in the nation had annual incomes of less than $1,000. or $19.23 a week. i see no reason to require that
families in such straits sacrifice over 5% of their annual income as a prerequisite to getting a discharge in bankruptcy. it may be easy for some people to think that weekly savings of less than $2 are no burden. but no one who has had close contact with poor people can fail to understand how close to the margin of survival many of them are. a pack or two of cigarettes may be for them not a routine purchase but a luxury indulged in only rarely. the desperately poor almost never go to see a movie, which the majority seems to believe is an almost weekly activity. they have more important things to do with what little money they have. like attempting to provide some comforts to a gravely ill child as cras must do.
it is perfectly proper for judges to disagree about what the constitution requires. but it is disgraceful for an interpretation of the constitution to be premised upon unfounded assumptions about how people live. poverty and its alleviation occupies a lowly standings among the priorities of the nation's most influential political leaders. for a brief moment after hurricane katrina, the higher circles paid some attention to the plight of the impoverished. on september 15, 2005, in jackson square in new orleans, president george w. bush recognized, quote, deep persistence poverty in the gulf region, and that we have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. that sympathetic attentiveness,
however, was evanescent. in a cover story for "newsweek," john that will jalter remarks, it takes a catastrophe like katrina to strip away the old evasions, hypocrisies and not so benign neglect. it takes the sight of the united states with a big black eye, seen around the world, to help us see again. does this mean a new war on poverty? no, he answered. but it may offer a chance to start a skirmish or at least make washington think harder about why part of the richest country on earth looks like the third world. a year later, alter complained, justifiably, that president bush had dropped the ball entirely. that congress had failed to perform much better.
and that the american public as a whole seemed disinclined to grapple with poverty seriously. to the extent that the poor do make it onto center stage, they typically do so as targets of vilification. as was recently shown when florida enacted the temporary assistance for needy families act, which requires citizens of the sunshine state to pass a drug test in order to be eligible for state welfare payments. absence of personal responsibility has long been seen in some quarters as the principal cause of impoverishment. proponents of this view include herbert spencer and william grant sumner in the early part of the 20th century and george gilder and charles maury in the latter part of the century. this perspective attributes poverty mainly to the defects of
the poor. their supposed lazyness, stupidity, improv dense, promiscuity, lack of foresight, lack of discipline, and penchant for exploiting the generosity of others. this moralistic hectoring of the poor which absolves governing arrangements is profoundly erroneous. poverty should be seen as a communal problem. do personal failings play a role in the predicament of the poor? of course they do, just like personal failings afflict all humans, no matter what their class. bad decisions to drop out of school, to have unprotected sex, to indulge addictive drugs often tighten the bonds of the poor. but there are multitudes of poor people who conduct themselves
with exemplary discipline, fortitude and pluck who nonetheless find themselves stuck in the cage of impoverishment, unable to earn their way out. one of the many virtues of barbara ironwright's classic "nickel and dimed: on not getting by in america" is its vivid portrayal of how hard poor people work only to remain poor through no fault of their own. our leading politicians, including our current president, tell us incessantly that america is a magical place where anything is possible for those who work hard and play by the rules. left unsaid but stated implicitly is the notion that financial distress must be an indication that one failed to work hard enough or play by the rules sufficiently. this belief occupy assail yent place on the emotional landscape
of america. many poor people embrace it as they lacerate themselves. it is, however, an idea that's deeply misleading. what we think of as personal failings are typically more than merely personal. they usually derive from sources outside of what can reasonably be considered a person's self-control. for instance, a depressed economy. and what is one to say about that 35% of the poor who are children? is their situation their fault? no, it is not. unless it is one's fault to be born to certain mothers. or fathers. thus far, i have said nothing about an important chapter of the poverty story. the chapter that involves race relations.
i shall conclude with three points about that subject. first, racial minorities, particularly blacks and latinos are disproportionately present in the ranks of the impoverished. in 2009, the poverty rate for white americans was 9.4%, for asian americans, 12.5%, latino americans, 25.3%, and for black americans, 25.8%. second, although blacks and latinos are disproportionately represented in the ranks of the poor, they remain minorities among the impoverished. most poor people in the united states are white. yet the portrayal of poverty in popular culture nourishes the misperception that most poor people in the united states are people of color. several carefulage cease of photographs in news magazines, film footage of television news
shows and depictions in textbooks reveal that african-americans in particular are pictured in stories about poverty far in excess of their actual representation amongst the impoverished. this is a point well made by professor marleau tib guillens. when the face of poverty is black and brown, two things happen. blackness and brownness is stigmatized with poverty and poverty is stigmatized with blackness and brownness. the latter is a likely factor in the stingyness and punitiveness of the american welfare regime. thirdness, racial -- race is a deciding factor in the poverty. many whites who once supported
the new deal coalition defected from it in part because of fears that its leaders had begun to give away too much to colored people. a consequence has been a political environment that over the past several decades has become increasingly, indeed dramatically, indifferent if not hostile to the poor. this is a baleful trajectory to which, alas, both of the major parties has contributed. a decent social cohesion requires protecting the most vulnerable amongst us. from the cruel, miserable and remediable circumstances that grip millions of americans who fine themselves mired beneath the poverty line. the united states is often lauded for what some see as its positive exceptionalism. distinctive commitments to traditions such as civilian
rule, checks and balances, constitutionalism, private enterprise and individualism. in its treatment of the poor, the united states can rightly be criticized for negative exceptionalism. as timothy kneading and others have observed, nowhere is the united states more exceptional than in its policy toward the impoverished. america's child poverty rate is higher than that of any other wealthy industrialized country. that should not be surprising. american anti-poverty policy, such as it is, does less to compensate low-wage workers and assist them in escaping impoverishment than any other advanced nation. president george w. bush was correct when he asserted that we have a duty to respond to the
redickment of the poor, especially that 35% who are children. sadly, it is a duty that america as a whole is failing to honor. thank you very much for your attention. [applause] >> and now i'm pleased to introduce the moderator for the next panel, entitled "what are we loyal to?" his research and writing focus on immigration, assimilation, social mobility and ethnic and racial identity. he's the author of "replenished ethnicity: mexican american identity." his current writing focus is how the u.s. society is changing the way children immigrate. he holds a ph.d. in sociology
from harvard university. please welcome mr. tomas jimenez. >> thank you, gregory. thank you for being here for the second panel, which is exciteled "what are we loyal to?" for all the risks among americans, most of us still identify with certain places, certain beliefs and communities. these groupings may not have amicable relations among one another but within these groups bonds are often strong. americans are finding community and political action, religious faith, ethnicity, neighborhood, but there's a paradox here. the notion that we are bound together, that we see each other as one of us, almost necessarily entails that we see some other group of people as not one of us. as one of them. in many respects, the things that unite us are also the
things that divide us. what are the primary entities today calling upon the loyalty of americans and how do these subloyalties affect the way we view our relationship to the nation as a whole? here to help us answer that and other questions is a distinguished grup of panelists, and i'd like to introduce them to you now. to my right, general fer lee, an associate professor of sociology at the university of california at irvine, author of "the diversity paradox: imgrigs on the color line in 21st century america." she received her b.a. and ph.d. degrees from columbia university. she's received numerous awards for her scholarship including the american sose yo logical association for her recent book "the diversity paradox." this coming here, she'll be a
visiting scholar at the russell sage foundation in new york city. next, margie scofee. she's a nationally known journalist and author, her articles have appeared in just about every major newspaper and she's a regular guest on national television and radio. she's author of "someone else's house: america's unfinish strd struggle for immigration" and the editor of "reinventing the melting pot." i use her chapter of that book in my classes. she's a senior writer for "newsweek." she was also the deputy editor of "the new york times" op-ed page. finally, luis lugo, director of the pew research center's forum on religion and public life. prior to that, he served as
director of the religion program at the pew charitable trust in philadelphia. before that, he was a professor of political science for more than 12 years, teaching courses on international relations, latin american politics, religion and politics, he holds a b.a. from the university of memphis, a m.a. from villanova and a ph.d. from the university of chicago. please join me in welcoming our panel. we'll proceed much like the first panel did, we'll spend the better part of an hour talking amongst ourselves and then we'll invite all of you to weigh in with questions and comments and so i'd like to quick it off by asking our panelists to respond very briefly to the question that headlines our panel, and to do so from the perspective of your own work. let me restate the question once again, what are the primary entities today calling upon the loyalties of americans and how do these subloyalties affect the
way we -- affect the way we view our relationship to the nation as a whole? why don't we ask jennifer to start us off. >> i think it's really terrific that we have this opportunity to discuss what is uniting us, what is dividing us and what thomas said earlier, i think is quite thought provoking. the same things that seem to be dividing us, also seem to be uniting us. so what i wanted to talk about today were three things that i thought were important which is immigration, language, and race. and these things are inextricably tied. for many of you who may not know. immigrants an their children account for 23% of the u.s. population and about 85% are coming from latin america and asia. if you think about how that immigrant stream is very different from the european
immigrant stream, clearly the united states is more racially and ethnically diverse than at any point in our history. it's also more diverse in terms of class origins than at any point in our history. one of the fears that i think a lot of americans have is given the diversity of the new immigrants, are we becoming a more fragmented society along the lines of language? are we becoming a a society with multiple languages or as samuel t. huntington has noted, are we becoming a society of spanish and english? there are a lot of americans that are irate because they have to push one to speak english when you make a telephone call. but if you look at the figures for the children of immigrants, what's remarkable is a pattern of english mono lingualism. the children of immigrants uniformly speak english well or
very well. what's actually sad is the fact that they are not, many of them are not maintaining their parents' language, that we're becoming an english monolingual society at the cost of bilingualism. the other thing i wanted to talk about was identity and i think a lot of people are -- believe we are identifying along racial lines, along ethnic lines and one of the things we're finding with the adult children of immigrants is that people identify as mexican and people identify as chinese, as korean, as vietnamese but that doesn't mean that they don't also feel and claim an american identity. so we have to be careful about how we think about that when we think about people who are of irish descent or german descent or italian descent, they're claiming an ethic identity but
that doesn't mean that they done also claim an american identity. so to be cognizant of that. the other thing i wanted to talk about a little bit was race. we see each other as distinct racial groups. and a lot of people fear that the united states is becoming an increasingly minority country, fragmented along the lines of race. one of the things that that presupposed is that the category of whiteness will remain fixed and will remain static and as some of the panelists noted in the earlier panel, groups that were not white at the turn of the 20th century are now considered white, irish, italians, jews, were not considered white by anglo saxsons. today i don't think that anyone would argue that someone of irish descent or italian descent or of polish deaccident is not
white. so the boundaries, these racial categories, are continuing to change and shift. it's not clear yet how that will chidgechemming -- will change. i think what people see as dividing lines aren't as divisive if we look at the children of immigrants. >> luis, what about you? >> you know about multiple alieges. you're look -- the first thing i think to keep in mind on the issue of religion is how unique the united states is. compared to countries that are also part of the advanced industrial world. we have a country in which 60% of the population tell us
religion is very important in their lives. and an additional 25% who say it is somewhat important. so you're talking about 85% of americans who take religion pretty seriously. you've got a country in which nine out of 10 people identify with one religious tradition or another. again, i would challenge you to look at the statistics on any other country, including our neighbors to the north, to see if you find anything like that. so one. we are the most religious country within the most advanced industrialized world. secondly, we are also a very diverse country from the standpoint of religion. i am glad i'm flanked by two immigration experts because immigration is always driven american religious diversity and is doing so even more now
with the latest wave of migration. the question, of course, is, given that recipe, high degree of religious its, why don't we see the conflict in this country that we see elsewhere? if you doubt that proposition, go to our website. we publish a report on religious tensions and restrictions around the world. indeed, the united states is not by any means normal in terms of religious tensions. why was that the case? we can put a marker down, we can return to, thomas. but i think i have to deal with in fact diversity. those two are related. europe has become very, very secular. at the same time have not had conflict. the founders faced a very practical problem and that is how to accommodate at the national level the kind of
diversity within protestantism that they confronted, and for reasons of principle and practicing matism they settled on what we now is the first amendment of the u.s. constitution which first of all said there will be no established church at the national level. this was very un-european. that was the typical european model. in fact, it's still present in some highly secularized european countries. with you the second part of that is a commitment to the free exercise of religion, to the free expression of religion in the public sphere. to that seemed to me in europe a countermodel to establishment, that is the model embodded in the american revolution. we see places as diverse as turkey or mexico. the american revolution was very anti-clerical. so we avoided both of those models and settled on something very different.
and my sense is looking at our data is that the american public of religious groups across the spectrum have really internalized the norms embodied in the free exercise. strong aversion to institutional unity of church and state. so very much support of separation but on the very hand very much supported by in large of religious expression in public life. somehow that combination has meant for religious americans that they became even more connected to the country and to its legal norms precisely because it allowed that public space where all religious traditions, including their own, could play themselves out freely and without, you know, government putting its finger as it from on the scales. if i could have one minute for the examples, to give you some impeercal data. after all we call ourselves at
the pew research center data. take a look at our surveys. we do these every year. they're around presidential years. you will see consistently seven out of 10 americans tell us they want a president with strong religious beliefs. even after several cycles of religion saturated presidential elections vast jorts tell us -- majorities tell us they think it's the right amount or not enough mention of religion in the campaign so they want even more. so that's on the one hand. that's on the free exercise. then we ask some questions. i'll give you one about endorsing candidates from the pulpit. whether they're priests or iman or rabbi. the balance of position shifts in the other direction. what's interesting is when you break it down, the respondents by those who are most religious and those who are most secular,
they're right in line. it's virtually identical. strong consensus on that score. so it's an interesting way to think about this, how religious diversity and the need to accommodate it legally in our system of government has actually resulted in a religious people being more deeply committed to the country as a whole and to democratic norms. precisely because the way that diversity has been handled. >> thank you, luis. tamar, how do you see things? >> i want to pick up the things that jennifer said. i have been thinking a lot about the mid years of the past century. about the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's. there's no question that the new diversity has made it harder to have the kind of cohesion that we had in those days. i have been looking at that cohesion and asking, why is it and why has it been oeasy? the african-american was outside the bodied politics those days and there was anaheim grants. gregory mentioned the numbers earlier today. in 1970 at least 5% of the
population was foreign bosh. we are now back up toward in the 12, 13 range. that's close to what it was in the ellis island days. because the gates have been shut basically from 1925 to 1965 very few immigrants came in those days. we got to a low point in our history of foreign-born population of immigrants. the fact of the matter it is it made social cohesion easier. the numbers are pretty startling. we are at a high point in our history of -- at our highest point in the ellis island wave of people coming in. in the 1950's, 1960's, a couple hundred thousand came in. now we are 1.5 million immigrants coming in every year. it's true as the fear mongers and the naysayers say, we're hearing a lot of foreign languages we didn't hear in the 1940's, 1950's and one language that's particularly spanish and whole industries and marketing,
just the whole marketing sector in america devoted to marketing in languages and marketing ethnic products and marketing to cars and beers and you name it, tens of millions of dollars that go to marketing to these sectors. obviously spanish tv and spanish radio, there were always german newspapers but there's a kind of prebt to it now that doesn't -- here's where we get to a divide, a cleavage we haven't been talking that much about but kind of cosmopolitan east coast and west coast. people who live in new york and l.a. take this for granted but i spend a lot of time out in the heartland. if you live in a town in the midwest that didn't have any immigrants until about 20 years ago and now is one-third immigrant because they built a meatpacking plant there and now a third of the time is immigrant or you live somewhere in georgia where there were no immigrants and suddenly for -- because there is' a carpet plant or for agriculture or
whatever there's now up ward to a third immigrant, those places are -- people's heads will exploding. we don't like it or we think it's backward, but it's true. it's happening. i think it's -- we have to even though that's an old-fashioned problem in a way, you know, many light years before we're worrying about white minority consciousness, you know, we're still worried about the threatened -- whites feel they are a majority but they're threatened by the change and the cultural difference. on the other hand, putting next to that a different set of numbers that have to be laid out on the table, and here i'm really channeling some of took place's good new work, if you look at how well today's immigrants are integrating, they're integrating very, very well. people have the concept in the head, my grandma learned english over time and today it's press two for english or spanish and they're not integrating. that's just not true. they're integrating faster now
than they were in the past. took places that a great set of numbers in his new study of the view of the literature, i guess it wasn't your number originally, but if you look at today compared to back in the ellis island days, how people -- how quickly people learned english, back in the day in the first five years about half had learned some level of proficient, useable english. today 2/3 have learned some level of usage proficient english. they are learning faster today than in the past. by every other measure can you look at it, whether it's language, whether it's education, whether it's your level of your job, whether you're above or below the poverty line, immigrants do much better than their parents and in many cases are catching up to the native born. again, one great set of numbers, you know, if you look at first generation latinos, only about 40% have high school degrees.
well, by the time the second generation, their kids at the same age, 85% of them have high school degrees. and in many cases on many measures immigrants are catching up to the native born. so, you know, there's the fear out there and then there's the reality of what the integration numbers are that i think people don't know much and one of our jobs ought to be, people like me, jobs ought to be getting that information out to the majority. but the other piece of it i think is -- complicates our interesting discussion here, picking up on i think what's kind have been the description of the panel and what jennifer said, oftentimes what seems to divide us are things that ultimately unite us. this has been true all through the history of u.s. immigration that basically the ethnic group, the immigrant group, the immigrant organizations, the church, the parish, the voluntary organizations in your ethnic neighborhood become your
vehicle into the mainstream. and that's been true, you know, since the old immigrant neighborhoods in boston and new york and chicago and it's true again today. and you know in the old neighborhoods it was you came to a big -- you came to a place where all your -- people from your hometown and your cousins and whatever had moved in chicago or new york and you found there. you know, all kinds of clubs and settlement houses and insurance companies and schools and saturday schools and you name it, you took part in those programs and they helped us just first of all function and survive, learn the language, get to work where you met native born people and mingled with native born people but they also became your way of learning the ways in the u.s. you probably -- if you came from a backward country somewhere in southern europe you probably weren't very politically active. you didn't think your voice mattered in politics. you didn't think you could influence how your church was organized and you came to the u.s. and you had a huge say.
from my ethnic political group or tamany hall or parish were in fact my small business that caters to the ethnic community to the mainstream. so you first played in your -- what where he call in the day -- ghetto, but the rules thaw learned or the skills thaw learned you later took into the mainstream. we're just seeing that play out exactly again today. you know, people -- latinos get involved in politics because they care about immigration and they go to demonstrations but the next thing you know they're registering to vote. or people go to their hometown associations or the associations that come out of mexicans ban together to have a home town association to send money back to their village. before you know it, if you're playing in your home town association, one study looked in chicago, you belong to four other organizations rf some kind in chicago that doesn't have to do with mexicans or mexican americans. you can play in politics in the u.s. home foun associations also lead to voth.
again, the most interesting of these analogies is how you start your own ethnic business in the neighborhood, a mexican restaurant for mexicans or a shop where people can buy the things they miss from home and the next thing you know you're edging over into a more mainstream market and to u.s. business. so, you know, i think -- i want to end on the notion of the hyphen that has been the notion that defines kinds of how ethnicity works in arkansas and how it bridges to the mainstream. you know, t.r., teddy roosevelt, he raged against the hyphen. we don't want any hyphenated americas. it's how american social cohesion has worked when it comes to imgrabts because we don't ask you -- immigrants because we don't ask you to choose, am i loyal to america or your old thing? in the u.s. said, hold on to the old thing. be part of those organizations but the hyphen can help you
bridge into the mainstream. it's not an either or choice. it's an add on choice. >> so the panel so far is painting a very rosey picture in contrast -- rosie picture in contrast to the -- rosy picture in contrast to the panel we had earlier. i want to pull us back a part a little bit. let me do that by asking a very broad question and it's a question that's motivated by a bumper sticker i see in the very liberal neighborhood i live in. it says unity through diversity. is that the tired slogan left over from the days of hyperself-conscious diversity talk or is there something to it? luis lugo, why don't we start with you? >> well, i gave you a very broad picture of what's happened in terms of religion and public life in this country. that's not to say that it's been a smooth curve. there's been a lot of bumps, some pretty big bumps along the way. and it has to do with new
entrants into the u.s. as a country, as a political system. again, primarily through immigration. pushing the envelope, as it were, certainly from the standpoint of the majority established community. i'll tabling one example and that's the experience of roman catholics in this country. again, because of major migrations from europe, but in that wave primarily from roman catholics countries such as ireland and italy and poland and so forth, this was profoundly unsettling to the mainstream protestant establishment and there were indeed not only tensions and conflicts but violence in places like philadelphia, for instance, where the main campus -- the original campus of my alma mater, villanova, was torched to the ground. it was in the parish in villanova -- in philadelphia.
one of the reasons -- the real reason, the precipitating reason had to do with bible reading in the public schools and whether, you know, catholic kids would be allowed to read the new age version rather than the king james version. it was such an affront to the protestant establishments that the governor had to pull out the guard to put down the rebellion. so it's not by any means been a smooth evolution but it has been an evolution, nevertheless, and now catholics basically are considered the mainstream in the united states. obviously post-1965 immigration, jennifer mentioned, it's predominantly from platin america and asia. about 75 hrs%, 80% -- 75%, 80% from those areas. the main demographic impact they're having is really putting more members into the
roman catholic church. unlike the native born who are 2-1 protestant. immigrants coming into this nation are 2-1 catholic. so they are overwhelmingly christian unlike in europe, but they're overwhelmingly catholic as opposed to protestant. but the rest of the immigrants coming in, a large percentage of them look at the percentage of muslim americans who are foreign born. it's 2/3. you know, the percentage of hindus, 82%. the percentage of buddhists. the platest wave of immigration is pushing us not only to, you know, the christian and jewish, that's another story we could talk about. even to the abram hamic inclusion of muslims, it's in the abrahamic, it's buddhists and so forth. i think there is a continuing challenge. again, it just seems to me it's
how the government and we as a society respond to that diversity and choose to accommodate that will determine those religious identities. >> religious through diversity, just a bump remember sticker? >> the first panel and second panel, could it be that immigrants and really new comers are going to make for a more cohesive country while the white people living in kansas or whatever are going to be the ones and the difference between the people the white people living in kansas versus l.a., for example, are going to fragment into two cultures, it's two questions. it's feeling like they belong here. the kansas people and l.a. people are having a similar war. it's a really, really interesting kind of notion. i think unity through diversity, it's a nice slogan but the problem with it leaves
out what's the there there that we do all belong to together? i think it's the sort of -- if you kind of want to contrast basically canadian or multiculturalist model the ideas that we have lots of different groups and what ties them together is not more than tolerance, i don't think that's the american model. there was something we all bought into it. i think it wasn't about, you know, do you -- cultural conformity as defined in europe. it's not like being german or french. there's a lot of difference in culture but there was a set of ideas that people bought into that made america what it is. i think unity through diversity leaves out that there there that is what -- those set of ideas, whatever they are. i think it's they're hard to described but if we had to go in separate rooms and describe them we'd come up with something similar.
bts our democratic values and opportunity and certain type of equality and tolerance and freedom. and that is not just the same as tolerating a lot of patchwork and unity through diversity. >> jennifer lee. >> yeah. i think this is a really interesting opportunity to actually talk about some of my work on intermarriage and multiregional identification and high diversity is changing opportunities. i think one of the things is intermarriage has risen dramatically over the past 50 years. about one in 13 american marriages are interracial marriages which to me was actually quite surprising. even if i live in southern california and i see a number of interracial relationships, this is the united states as a whole and to borrow some data from the pew center, if you look at just 2008, the marriages that took place in
2008, one in seven marriages was interracial in 2008. what's fascinating, though, what we did was my co-author, frank beam, we looked at states and broke those down by metropolitan areas. what we found is states in metropolitan areas that were most racially diverse had the highest rates of multi-- interracial marriage and also the highest rates of multi racial reporting. so diversity is the increase of groups could lead to the erection of boundaries among groups. but what we're founding is the opposite when you have a large presence of at least three different groups you find more interracial marriage and more multiracial reporting. and so the increased diversity is actually not leading to
fwragmentation. it seems to be leading -- fragmentation. it seems to be leading to a reduction of social distance between groups. with that said, what's fascinating, though, the figures that i gave, among asians and latinos, about 30% of asian and latino marriages are interracial marriages. but if you break that down by just u.s.-born asians and latinos, these figures jump. so about 52% of u.s.-born latinos are in interracial relationships. among asians, this is startling to me. i went back and checked it a number of times. 72% of u.s.-born asians who are married are in interracial relationships. so this gets to the issue of diversity. it gets to the issue of, are we fragmenting into a society? all of the research that we find and looking at the
brooments of social distance, we see -- barometers of social distance, we see that the gaps are closing, especially for asians and latinos. and so that i'm clear not to point just a rosy picture that thomases that said that we are guilty of. one of the other findings that we -- that is very remarkable, my work, is this whole idea of black exceptionalism. that even though we find these patterns of bridging the social distance, the one group for whom that distance isn't bridged as closely or as quickly is between african-americans and whites. >> let me ask you all to speak about the politics and the discourse surrounding it. on the one hand all of you are painting a picture of more unity than division on the ground whether it's in racial
and ethnic identity, politics, immigration, immigrant integration, but the politics and the discourse seem to belie all of that. whether we have a war on christmas or afraid that allah will become the law of the united states or whites feel they have more racial segregation than blacks? the numbers seem to suggest we are being born attorney apart by these -- torn apart by these things. the first panel said that our nation is becoming increasingly fragmented. i want you to talk about the decoupling between what we see going "encore booknotes" the ground and the way we talk about this. -- going on on the ground and the way we talk about this. jennifer, start. >> this is puzzling to me, and i don't have an answer so i would be curious to see what my panelists have to say and hear
from all of you in here because i do see this incredible divorcing of what someone in the first panel talked about political ideas and our ideas and then the politicization of these ideas. and thomas and i were talkeding earlier about some of the -- what americans support for undocumented immigrants. >> i was pointing out that americans are kind of all over the place when it comes to their public opinion about immigration. so if you look at polls that were taken last summer, a majority say that they would favor -- a small majority but a majority nonetheless said they'd favor changing the 14th amendment so that children who were born in the united states, unauthorized citizens, could not become automatic citizens. but yet a large majority favor a law that would create a pathway to legal residency for immigrants who are here who are unauthorized. so we have these kind of
paradoxical view of immigrants. >> well, i agree. i think it's incredibly paradoxical. i think one of the fascinating things we're finding in our work is if you give these unauthorized migrants a path to citizenship, their children have much better educational outcomes. so it's not that these unauthorized immigrants don't want to naturalize. they often are unable to. it affects not only them but importantly it affects their children. and i know i'm really not answering the question. i'm going to kick the ball over to luis who will probably answer better than i could. >> i don't think so. well, sure. there are contentious issues out there. you know, take abortion. it's been a contentious issue. unlike issues of gay marriage or gay rights, for instance, we've seen very little movement and the country still pretty much divided 50/50.
it's interesting, however, how that breaks down because it is not slitfying denominational differences, for instance solidifying denominational differences. if you look at our data and analyze, you will see that religious fault lines on that data do not run along denominational lines. think run through them. right. so a highly divisive issue like that in an interesting sort of way has generated a kind of he can menism that would have been -- ecumenism that would have not been thought of 50 years ago. when you add evangelicals and catholics, you have about 50% of the country. these are not significant groups in terms of their size. these are precisely the groups
for 150 years of sour history from at each other's throats. well, when you look at conservative catholics and evangelicals they have made common cause on the question of abortion. in fact, activism around that issue has really helped to break down a lot of boundaries between evangelicals -- white evangelicals and roman catholics in a way that i found stunning. you know, you can add orthodox jews to that mix. in other words, the fault line there is not cemented denominational differences. it's simply reconfigured the way people line up on that. so even a highly divisive issue like that which is highly divisive for our society, the religious side has generated some forms of unity among more conservatively oriented groups regardless of religious tradition and more liberally oriented groups within those
traditions. >> so you're saying exactly where i live because i spent most of my time in washington making immigration reform happen. i've been doing a really good job with a totally stalemated issue. and out of the country going to folks' groups, talking to -- speaking and trying to get a sense of where the public is. and it's -- it is a complete divide in ways that you might not expect. i actually have an explanation of it. so when you go out and you sit down with a focus group and you ask them what they think about immigrants. it's educated, not educated. women, men. we are talking mostly about white. not hispanic white people. they are kind of angry. er in' complaining about the kids -- the people in the emergency room and the spanish and their school and they have a lot of gripes and if you let them spend the whole two hours
talking about do they like immigrants or do they think imdwrants are good for america or not, when they come in, they're say, yes, good for america. but the mother-in-law room, but the school. if you let them talk about that for two hours, it is painful for you. if you ask them, what's their solution? i am talking about republican in nashville, right? the most what we would think about unreconstructed on it. if we ask them what's their solution they get very pragmatic. by the kind of 45-hour point they are at the solution that president obama or, you know, congressman gutierrez would be for. you know, first they'd say, let's deport them all. they'd think them for about 20 minutes, that's not practical. where would we find them? that's expensive. then somebody in the group says, well, let's try making life so miserable that they go home by themselves. then they say, yeah, yeah,
yeah. they talk about that for 10 minutes. that's not practical either. they have families here. who would mow my lawn? about the 45-minute point -- at about the 45-minute point -- and i swear you can set your watch by this -- somebody says, my husband would kill me. you are all going to -- you can't believe i am going to say that, we have to find them to jump through some hoops and have them become legal. you have the public out there very mixed views. we are a nation of immigrants but upset and angry about the immigrants coming and the legality. if they get them to get practical, well, you get to d.c. and they can't get to any pragmatic solutions. they are stuck in these two camps. at least there were republicans and democrats for reform. it's become a political football now. just watch it play out over the
next two year it's going to be painful. it's going to be one side blaming the other for not doing it we've become the wedge issue -- we make abortion and gun control look like where they're talking seriously. so the question is what's the difference? what's the gap? why can't we have a connection here between the public that even though they're very troubled, you know, want to get to a pragmatic solution and politicses who can't, who are just completely in a partisan standoff on it? and, you know, i think one of the names that didn't get mentioned that much in the panel who i think is the writers thinking about this is mora spurina. he said on a lot of different issues you have the public is always apple biff lent about issues. -- ambievolen. they're for-mother. there's apple biff lens there. -- apple bev lens there.
we want people wanting to become citizens. there is a lot of different values at play. and then the politicses give them choices that are either/or. when you're giving what they say, you take that either/or choice. if you have politicians saying we have to be anti-immigrant and you agree with them on a lot of other issues, you'll take the anti-immigrant issue. you do have fears but you want a pragmatic solution. the problem here is not so much the wide polarization of the public. it's a public that wants pragmatic that is confused but wants pragmatic solutions and a political elite that is offering them very starkly polarized choices. it's hard for people in the focus group to make themselves heard saying we want a practical solution that works on a lot of different dimensions and they get sucked in the only choice you have is either black or white they choose one or the other and
that's why we can't get to a solution. >> so we just have a little bit of time left. i will ask our panelists a little bit faster. i want to turn to what i think is the underlying assumption of the center and perhaps the two panels which is that some degree of could he heerings is desirable. and -- cohesion is desirable. we've been seeing how racial, ethnic, political groups might come together but what are the specific things that have the potential to bring us together? is it military conscription? is it requiring the pledge of allegiance. what are the kinds of things that gets people out of their particular camps and to feel some sense of unity to a larger camp that we call the united states? i'll let anyone dive in. >> i don't know if i have the answer. if i had the answer i would be running for president or something. but the one thing i would say with the whole sort of conversation we've been having all day, i think if you make cohesion your goal, it's almost sort of like making mechanics
the goal as opposed to the substance. it's like people who say you want to -- people who say i want to get rich don't get rich as often as people say i have a great idea for a product or a great idea for a company. and people say i want to be happy are not as happy as people who say i want to accomplish something or i want to be -- love the people around me. so the cohesion might be kind of putting the product before the horse, so to speak. and the horse is about purpose and values. what is our -- do we have some sense in the country of purpose and values that we share? elevating cohesion for its own sake, cohesion might be good. cohesion might be bad. i don't have the answer to what those values . when i look at the -- again, at the 1950's, which i am looking at saying, what's the difference? there was much more a sense of what the nation's purpose was and much more a sense of what our shared values were. so i think maybe cohesion as a goal we might be chasing the --
i'm for a military service. i'm for -- some sort of national service, i guess. i'm for patriotic displays. i'm for all the things we talked about. i'm not sure -- i think those might be the mechanics rather than the substance. i am stuck at the substance question. i'd point it to substance. >> jennifer lee, what should we be chasing? >> i like what tamar said and i'd follow it up. when you think about working towards something else that's larger than yourself and doing that and bringing together people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, bringing immigrants together with native born americans, bringing different gender backgrounds and then working towards something else, that is really the goal. then you start to forget about the things that are different between you and among you and thinking about working toward the goal. i guess i thought about this a lot because some of my friends are martial artists. when they walk into a dojo,
they don't care what they do. they don't care what racial and ethnic background you are. whether you're native born or foreign born, they're working toward a skill. that's how they're judged and measured. i think about neighborhood associations or community associations, when you're working toward the betterment of something else, leaving those descriptive characteristics behind and thinking about working towards something that's beyond yourself. >> luis lugo, what's the -- >> let me just say that the pew research center would take a strict nonadvocacy position. particularly i'm not for social cohesion. i hope you folks understand that. we are not for interreligious understanding or anything. we simply -- research and report on the facts. but the facts do tell us, if you look at public opinion that, you know, it's this sense on the part of religious communities that the country -- that the society is open to religious expression but in a way that's equitable to all groups, that that really seems to be a winner.
the biggest challenge, of course, at one point it was for catholic and jews is the muslim community. without question since 9/11 has had a difficult time. last year quite difficult. but when we polled muslim americans and we did the first national representative survey of muslims, we were surprised to the way they -- language acquisition were far advanced in terms of their incorporation into the united states. so, again, to get to the specific, probably, if i'm judging our survey results correctly, it's the sense on the religion side. i am not speaking overall -- that they get a fair shake here. religion -- that their religion is respected and from a legal framework treated like every other religious grufmente >> so why don't we take a
moment now to open it up to all of you and take some questions and comments and i'll ask you in stating your questions and comments to be as brief and concise as you possibly can. >> thank you. >> do you want us to go up there? >> no. we have two microphone and we'll come to you. >> question on your left. >> i'm hugh mcilroy. you said the c word, conscription. as a retired military person, we want draftees more than we want gays or blacks and women. it opens up to the idea of whether military service is something thooleds us together. albeit only 5% or whatever it is and having had sneerns and it is an -- it is an experience that is unequally shared by immigrants and minorities with,
you negotiation an officer corps that is still somewhat white but only the whites that didn't go to law school kind of thing. >> it's -- thank you for your comment. i think it's interesting that you bring up the military because it's an institution that when we talk about cohesion we don't often talk about although there are a number of countries in the world that use the military as what some people call the school of the nation. if you want people to kind of come together, feel some sense of unity about what it means to be korean or israeli and i don't use those two examples by coincidence, then you require them to do your military service. they have some tie or some connection of what it means. charles moscow suggested this and bill clinton had this service mod motto. people could feel a sense of attachment. >> i think -- i understand that the military doesn't want draft
combrees -- draftees any more. why not a national service, a national service? i'm sort of surprised -- i think that would be a classic obama idea, but maybe the point is, you know, not many people would want to do it. everybody is in a hurry. poor people might want to do it. everybody else is in a hurry to go to law school. we could propose it but people wouldn't want to do it. it talks about cohesion and sacrifice. people are determined to get to law school and get that good job. how about would fake a year out to go build bridges or teach in schools or whatever? some people do but i'm not sure you could get everyone to. >> a lot of graduates have to now because that's one of the few options available to them. that would be a good thing. >> my question first and then a quick combhent. have any of you done -- quick comment. have any of you done any work in the arts?
instead of cohesion we could be talking about understanding. i interviewed 19 artistic directors of culturally specific dance companies and found that in a startling ways all of these different ethnic companies -- we use the word cultural -- are becoming integrated into the mainstream of american dance and creating an understanding that is going beyond the specific community, from working in a basement to working at the kennedy center. i would have liked to have heard more about the role of the arts because i think it's quite important and interesting. so that's the question and the comment. >> that's a great comment. it does make my point about the ethnic vehicle into the main streefment it's a lovely example that we didn't think of. >> where i live you can't really be a teenager in the
silicon valley unless you know about bollywood and k-pop which is korean pop. this is where those artistic expressions are mainstreamed. >> question over here on the left. >> want to get a little bit more in the economic side of this. i've seen some studies that people who immigrate historically tend to be a little more entrepreneurial and willing to take risks and chances and go out which has presumably one of the reasons why the united states has been as entrepreneurial as it has. and in recent years there have been very real economic reasons for the high level of both legal and illegal immigration. i would like your comments on that because for a long time the illegal immigration was accepted by many people, both businessmen and people who needed gardeners and things like that. and it's suddenly becoming much
less acceptable but has left us with a situation where we have a large number of highly productive immigrants often who are exploited because of their lack of legal status. and how we can resolve that in some kind of cohesive way. and the economic ups and downs of that. thank you. >> i'll just talk a little bit about -- i think you brought in an excellent example, a point about the selectivity of immigrants. the immigrants who come here from different countries, in some ways they are the most entrepreneurial because they are willing to leave their countries of origin and to make a new life for them self somewhere new and to be the foreigner. so they are a self-select population. and immigrants have a high level of entrepreneurship. i mean, if you look at certain asian immigrant groups, their entrepreneurial rates are
extraordinary plea high. that's due to the fact that they are closed out of jobs for whicher in' qualified for because they don't speak the native -- they don't speak english, because they don't understand the cultural norms of the native born culture. but then you also talked about, what are we to do with this group of unauthorized migrants who are coming here for opportunities? the fact that we're hiring them, i mean, one joked about the fact that somebody would, you know, who would mow your lawn? who would be serving you in restaurants? who would be doing the back service work? who would be cleaning your hotel rooms? >> who would be harvesting crops? >> in southern california, i drive by them all the time. we have this strange paradox to go off of thomas' theme in the
sense that they're here, they're undocumented immigrants that are here, they're doing labor. yet, for some reason we don't feel like they belong. it seems like bringing together what tamar said about some of the focus group interviews, people are working for a path of legalization for people who are here especially the children who may have been born outside the country but raised here most of their lives. and so that seems to be the only humane way to go about. and also exploiting their own opportunities and to make sure they are not exploited in the process. >> the thing i would add to that, there's no question that immigrants are drawn here for economic opportunity. that's what drives it. people come for jobs. you don't get welfare. they come to fill niches where we don't have a robust work force anymore. americans are more educated. half of the american men in the
work force were high school dropouts. wanting to do unskilled physical work. less than 10% of the american men in the work foors are high school dropouts. -- work force are high school dropouts. we need people to do farm work. we don't educate enough engineers. we need people doing it. in the downturn the flow from mexico have been cut by half because we still need some farmers and still need some people in kitchens but not as many construction workers and not as many people in kitchens and hotels. it's very market driven and very market sensitive. the problem is, and i think this is where public opinion is so complicated, the public doesn't understand that. people think if you pay them a dollar more my cousin would do it. the problem is that, a, it's not true. in many industries you can't pay them a dollar or two or $3 more you would go out of the -- go out of business. the other people would be competing with you and you
couldn't pay them more. the problem is that the american public doesn't get the economic drivers and that the american public, like the european public rand publics all around the world, even when they understand the economic piece, their cultural fears conflict with the economic piece. and so it's very hard to have a rational conversation about immigration. if it was a rational conversation, people would be for the good policies. it's hard to get to that. the polarized choices tend to -- >> let me add on this score. that's precisely the attitude we find when we polled most americans. high percentage who say that, yes, if you work hard you're going to get -- you're going to get far in this society. so they have abide by the can do it american attitude. i should point out, and i think i mentioned this in passing, like muslim immigrants in europe, the muslim community in this country tends to be much more highly educated. in fact, they're middle class
when you look at their educational levels and income levels. and there are some immigrant communities, in fact, that have a higher percentage of immigrants. hindu americans. and even higher levels. the highest educational level of any group in this country. those levels are held by-due americans. it's really -- held by hindu americans. this is the h-1-b poll we can call it, i suppose. >> we have a question on the right. >> so i just wanted to bring in the added component of gender and the role that it plays with the american population and integration. the reason i bring it up, i've done a little bit of research with my school in terms of the iranian dias. within germany, sweden and canada, females integrated a lot more quickly than the males did. there was a cultural tension between men in the society whereas the society really cult
vate than women. there was dialogue because almost like the western feminism that brought them in. there was another conversation where women were kind of subcitizens in iran and that translated into the -- as an immigrant status, it's not too much of a change. do we see kind of something similar within the united states in the sense that, you know, you were saying the hispanic population is great and how patriotical that it is -- that is. as we see integration into society within, let's say, do we see a deintegration within the female society? >> that's an excellent question. i think the study of gender, i think people need to pay more attention to gender differences and immigrant integration. i would -- i thought of a couple of examples. i mean, one of the things is that oftentimes men have --
highly educated men have a harder time integrating into the united states because they experience a severe status drop. if you are working as a professor in your country of origin, you come to the united states, you're not able to get an equivalent job. you have to open up a small business in a low-income black or latino neighborhood to earn a living, there's a status inconsistency. whereas the women, the status drop is often not as severe. so that's one thing i would say. the second thing i was thinking of is patterns of intermarriage and they're very gendered. not so much among latinos but especially among asians. asian females are twice as likely to intermarry as asian males. and that has implications for integration. so gender is working its way. it's in complicated ways but it seems that females for reasons
of premigration status and also their reception, if i were to make a generalization, have an easier time integrating in some regards. >> the only thing i might add, there's some evidence, especially among the children of low-skilled immigrants, women are doing better than men. and part of it is because women are being raised -- women of men are being raised as very normal -- that means that the boys are allowed to roam free after school and the women have to kind of come home and help out in the household. in doing so they're developing a set of skills that are somewhat transferable to the labor force, transferable to school. they stay out of trouble more. you see them getting better grades, more likely to go to college. yeah, within ethnic groups, there are gender patterns of integration. in addition to the kind that jennifer spoke of. >> the question is eye rain
yain -- iranians in particular. >> that's consistent with what you mentioned. >> you should just also keep in mind, as long as i'm on the muslim issue, there's a wide variety of muslim americans. when i say 2/3 are fworne born, they really come from every place around the world. there's no country of origin that accounts for more than 8% of american muslims which is another difference with europe. iranians, in particular, given the particular historical and political circumstances of many of their migration tend to be more westernized. in fact, they are the least religious muslim group in this country. not unlike, if i am going to give you a comparison, on the latino side. with my folks, cuban americans, who tend to be quite middle class, fairly well educated, and among latinos, the most secularized of the groups. >> we'll be taking our last
question for this panel. here on the left. >> hi, i'm julia. i have a couple of points. one, just a little factoid for you, luis. i used to teach in kuwait. one of my students came over to florida for spring break. he sent me a face message and said he was surprised. he faced no discrimination. there's no racism in florida. not like europe. so, you know, there's a sense in which i think we like to talk about these things and i think as americans we get ourselves wrapped in bunches over some of this stuff. whereas it's not as bad as it seems. to the point about loyalty -- i think, tamar, this is where we need to be focused and this question of what are these deep core values that we hold, and these deep core values
transcends things. if you look at abortion, you have two very, very deeply held values of defending the rights of the -- the person that can't defend themselves which is something that is deep within sort of an american psyche. we jump to the defense of someone that we see can't defend themselves. and so you get two sides that are trying to define what that would be. and this question of life. so what are we doing to actually try to get to this level of -- because that's where i think we get to our cohesion. where do we find these values that we have to -- that transcends everything, that brings us together? >> if we could answer that -- >> i would say -- >> i'm not saying it's a good question. it's a hard question. >> tamar is right, adherence to
a creed. you know, certain propositions, you know, about equality and the rule of law and so forth. what's not present in that creed is here is a particular religion and part of the reason why, you know, immigrants and folks of different religious backgrounds can feel like they can be fully american is because they don't have to give up, you know, their minority faith in order to accept the american creed. i use that creed in quotation there. and i think it's a very, very significant thing. i think it also happens on the racial side and so forth. folks in europe have a lot tougher time coming to terms with that. you know, what does it mean to be german, in order to be french? many of these other things that we, you know, take for granted are not part of the american creed have historically been part of those creeds. and that makes, you know, their situation a lot more challenging, i think, than
ours. >> i want to go back to -- kind of the point you made early on, thomas, the difference between this panel and the panel brch. talking about immigrants and religion. people who are loyal to one group and thinking how do i transfer that loyalty to a different or larger group which is different than what the first panel was talking about. it's partly that group but more of individualism is what's kind of undoing us at the broader level. it's loyalty to my gated community but kind of individualism which is what a lot of us struggle with. putnam, people don't feel they're part of something in the same way in people in earlier generations felt they were part of. when we talk about immigration and ethnicity, we have people who are loyal to a group and the question is transferring that loyalty. somehow that's the larger problem. you think of what the various individuals that make up the country who are now so
individual and what do they come together around. >>ry just wanted to -- i really appreciated the story about your student who came to florida and he said that race -- he doesn't experience racism. when we talk about these issues with our students, one of the things that gives me really enormous hope, things that i see and thomas might see as these huge barriers for students, they're just so belanger about these -- belanger about these things. -- blaise about these things. they're almost -- they're almost passed it. i'm not sure because we're in california where there is an enormous amount of ethnic and racial diversity that is there. the antedote, that's not
original for this particular person, the millenials i think we're calling them, the racial diversity is not a big deal as it was for our generation, whatever we are. >> this is precisely your point, if you talk to religious leaders, for instance, their main concern is not that their flock is not very pat yoitic and not committed to the united states or their community or social group. what they see is the corrosive individualism that is basically distancing them from we lidgeous institutions and what -- religious institutions. maybe at the end we hit upon a key theme we should have focused more. >> on that note we have to close. i want to thank all of you for weighing in. [applause] >> thank you, everyone. justice o'connor isn't feeling
very well. so she's asked me to sort of perform a wrap-up, which i will do. for those who weren't here at the beginning, i am michael crow from the arizona state university. let me say the following, the central question was one to stimulate discourse and interaction and to sort of get a glimpse from leading scholars and writers and thinkers about the complexity of a question potentially as strange as, can the united states remain united? i mean, i think that for probably many, many reasons it's an objective that merits as much attention as we can bring to it as possible. particularly because of the fact, at least in thinking about what some of the panelists had to say today, what i was hearing in this discussion was this sort of dichotomy, almost a die cot mist dilemma and that is this notion of the ideals of the
united states, individualism, individualized liberty, freedom of religion, all of the things that make up who we are, drive us to the point that when people either arrive here from somewhere else or once here are able to find themselves freely expressive, they're able to do whatever they want to do. and that's the way the system is designed. given that you have this stress, this stress of how can you be cohesive when everyone is free on an individual basis to be who they want or to do what they would like to do and at the same time how do you find ways to connect and so it is in fact the case that the stresses i think are particularly acute at the moment for reasons like we heard from our panelists. i think michael in the first panel talked specifically about technology and this ability to create one's own world. if you can create your own world and you live in a place where your own world is
createble thing, chances are you're going to be highly motivated to do that. this notion that bill talked about of scale where within your ability to create your own world you could actually identify and create your own identity, move to a place where that identity could be maximized and then live your life within that space, that place, that physical place, why wouldn't you want to do that? and jim talked about this notion of what i saw partisanship convergence and culture and the notion of cultural partisanship. where partisanship itself is changing and evolve and it's this notion of this extension of partisanship. again, why not? so here we have this manifestation of this very stark dilemma that the american design is such that it drives us to accentuate our differences but the unifying
factor is in fact the mechanism under which we're empowered to be able to do that. i thought randall kennedy's talk where he put down two very important concepts that were related to each other, the notion of attractive social cohesion and what he called decent social cohesion and he talked about the notion of who cares about the ceiling, we need to worry about the floor and if you have no access to a decent conceptualization of connectivity to everyone else, you have no participatory mechanism along the way, then we have left those, as he said, 42 million people behind. and i thought that he was outlining something that one needs to keep in mind because one of the consequences of intense individualism is 32% of those people being children who are living and being raised in a particular environment for which they have no control.
and so it's a flaw, if you will, in the design that's not yet been resolved. this panel i think interestingly and i think appropriately sort of outlined some of the very significant almost research questions. so it's this notion of this dilemma think a mentioned between the ideals of america and the implementation of that americanism and this notion of, when i was listening to you all, what i was hearing was this notion of realtime forces. i wrote down, i thought this panel couldbeen called realtime high speed social change. this notion of speed. social change has probably never occurred at the speed with which it occurs in the united states in the early 21st century. there can't have been a period in history where social change has occurred the way that it occurs here. so from join we -- jennifer we
heard over and over from different dynamic directions, this notion of the fluidity of social constructs, the notion of being driven by american valueless. and so what the americans will look like in the future, we're hearing about intermarriage and interconnection and interlinkages and so forth, there's probably no way to predict that other than a group of people driven by these american values through highly fluid, dynamically driven social constructs. that is the social constructs have changed, are changing, are changing more quickly and are likely to change. from tomorrow we heard about new immigration waves and the interesting thing -- i remember when something in the presidential campaign in 2008, someone said they went out and polled everyone and they said, who won't vote for barack obama because his father is of african descent and 80% said, i don't care, and 20% said, i care.
well, that means whoever said i care, that meant they're a racist because they actually were making a decision that they were unwilling to vote for someone because of the racial heritage of the father. and i said to myself, well, great. that means we have now 80% who are seemingly not racist and 20% who are seemingly racist. and so i said to myself, that's fantastic until you run the numbers. in a country of 300 million people, that's a lot of people. and so -- it's this notion, i think you were really getting at it which is this notion of numbers. large numbers. we sometimes haven't realized that, yes, there's been waves of immigration that have come and gone, there's seldom been a time in any country's history where you have a million and a half immigrants showing up from all over the world all at once in a single year and then a million and a half the next year and a million and a half the next year. these are very large numbers.
so this notion of dealing with all of this, this new immigration waves and in this new technological world where immigrants and others can subgroup and group and link and communicate and so forth in ways that haven't been possible in the past, these are like important questions about the issues of social cohesion or lack thereof. and then this notion of -- i think you were saying this, it was this notion of the cohesion that we actually already have as a function of the fact that in the united states you want to be the hindu or the buddhist or the a atheist or the catholic or the jew or the muslim or whatever it is, be my guest. be my guest. because there's nothing holding you back from any of those directions that you want to go and so there's this notion then that the cohesiveness there was actually around the idea of religious freedom. and so one of the things i wanted to put on the table, gregory, for you and the center and others that are involved and for the fellows and others
that are participating in this, this is a really important set of questions. it's really an important set of issues but it's one that the old styles of approach, including academic sociology and other kinds of ways of doing things, they're not going to work and i'm not pick on the stanford sociology department or the uc-irvine sociology department. we of course did away with our sociology department. we've evolved a school for the human evolution and social change and a school for family and social dynamic so we have other structures that we're going in. that old approaches aren't likely to work. old paradigms are not likely to work. you need to really look at this from the perspective of all of these things that i think our panelists were able to put on the table. for those of you who were able to ask questions, thank you, i thought the questions were good and got people moving in the right direction and for those of you that are interested in this topic, this center will be continuing and will be continuing to advance both in the form of public discourse as
well as written materials,a academic work and so forth. thank you for being here. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> in about a half and hour we're going to take you live to the white house. president obama's expected to speak to reporters on the status of the negotiations to cut government spending and raise the debt ceiling. as you may recall, vice president biden's been holding a series of those talks up until at least the fourth of july recess. ahead of that recess majority leader eric cantor pulled out or backed out of those talks over the issue of taxes. so we expect to hear more on the status of those talks and
host: so, we want your thoughts on the public's role in that negoations. new hampshire, jonathan. turn down your television. that way we will not get the feedback. caller: i had a couple of comments. my concern, and i guess the concern of many people, is that many people overall have not been included in the
conversation. speaking for myself, until i get some research, i was under the assumption that these were the only ones to increase spending as opposed to paying off old debts that were already incurred. speaking for myself and my state, that is what our belief is. i do not think that we can make a rational decision or support our politicians without communicating with citizens like myself. host: have you taken the time to express to your representatives and senators what you would like to see don with the debt ceiling? caller: yes, i have.
i have explained to him the lack of communication and what this is all about, as opposed to the political rhetoric. host: did you get any kind of response? caller: i did not. caller: i did not. and host: jennifer, and you are on the "washington journal." caller: i have been in the hospital, so you might have to ignore me for a few minutes, but i do not believe that we are being told the situation as a country exactly at this point. country exactly at this point. they a trying to do everything behind closed doorsnd they have a right to know about the spending or not spending that they are planning. host: what is it that you think you are missing out on? caller: they are keeping the cup
-- the publimisinformed. host: have you made any attempts to contact your representative or senator? caller: yes, and i had very positive feeack. host: who did to contact? caller: one of them was ben braddock. he has been a definite supporter puic libraries. host: let's move on to portsmouth, new hampshire. anne, what is the role of the public eye and that negotiations? caller: we need to be more informed and more local. i firmly believe that there is a classar involved. people need to come outnd
speak. every time i hear the phrase -- the american people want, no one has ever asked me what i want. time to start speaking out and getting rid of people that are making the wrong decisions, putting people in that have america's interests at heart. the people matter. it is not just the top 1%. i e it everywhere. i was middle class but i do not consider myself that high up any more. i speak out everywhere. the phone calls do not do much good. as we see, there are no negotiations going on. it is my way or the highway. host: do you think that the performance of your representatives and senators
with the negotiations, will that happen when you go to the polls in 2012? caller: absolutely. i do not believe in straight in -- straight republican or straight democrat. i'm an independent. i know other people will do the same. stop voting for your party when they are not speaking the truth. host: more from the article -- hopper "id is not appear
missing by these negotiations not being held in an open forum? not being held in an open forum? caller: i think that we have a right to know what is going on, we pay the bills. host: we have a twitter message here -- host: bacto the phones. jane, democratic line. caller: the first thing that i heard this morning with esident clinton recommending a lowering of the corporate rates. you can bet that of this
continues, i will not be voting democrat again. what has gotten into him? io not understand he is supporting by lowering of the corporate tax rates. this has not made a lot of noise. host: this is something that she would want negotiators to consider them the caller: that they are not coming up with the right answers, we have to be very loud. because they are wrong about this. we have got to raise the debt limit and the revenues. bill clinton? give me a break. host: clearwater, florida. go ahead. caller: recently i heard grant
called, basically they have drawn a line in the san. they were characterized as not seeing anything, but the solution is not beautiful -- beautiful. what they are holding out for is they want some kind of balanced budget where they can negotiate on the exact wording. we should have a balanced budget just like every other state. host: alan, how do you think you go about getting pepper point driven home? call: i do not know. i guess called the senator. rubio might even go for it.
they say that it is the tea party people who are driving it. i do not know enough about the two-party, but they do make sense. host: mississippi, janet is next. caller: i feel as long as our politicians are bought by big corporations, we cannot trust the word that they say. they will do what the corporations want. the supreme court gave corporations the right to be individuals. they do not have rights like individuals. they are individuals themselves but they should not make the decisions as far as who represents the people. a lot of people would call me ignorant, but i know how to balance my checkbook and if these people cannot balance their checkbook, they need to
go home and learn how to. host: fixed the political experts from the book -- brookings institution says -- that ty hashnt it out in private first. your thoughts? caller: my thought is that if people cannot get together and talk it out, compromise, what is the use of having separate get together is? tempore i know that i sound ignorant, but people need to sit down in a circle and come to a conclusion. host: another twitter message from boring file clerk, writing -- host: chattanooga, tennessee.
gerry, go ahead. caller: thank you for c-span. what president obama doing basically let the republicans hide in his administration. you have a republican party in place. this is where it came from. you have these tax cuts, medicare part b. president obama is not going to change those tax breaks. we are still in a fix with these republican parties. we need to come out of these wars. republicans are deliberately trying to sabotage this economy because this is the only way they can get someone elected in this economy.
everything else to sell or group -- sour grapes. keeping the unemployment rate at the level that it is. ey are trying to destroy this economy. host: some of those things you mentioned could be resolved if this was done in the open? jerry is gone. let's move on to rhode island. caller: but would like to point out that there are many, many federal institutions and agencies that are not warranted by the constitution. we could get rid of many of them and it would savehis nation billions, if not maybe trillions of dollars annually, just by getting rid of these institutions. the department of education,
the natnal cancer institute, the national eowment for humanities, whenever that is. some of these institutions have absolutely no real use. i think that they could be eliminated and most of the american people would not know. host: the article this morning comes with the headline "public does not have placed in debt talks."
host: we are asking about the role of the public in debt negotiations. union bridge, maryland. caller: first of all let wanted to say that a lot of comments have been made about greece and their economy and how they failed. one of the reasons they failed, and i am telling you this because my father is extremely into politics, greek politics, they have a very unfair tax system like they do your.
corporations get the break. basically it is a buddy system. this is what is going on in this country right now. you cann have a balanced if not everyone is contributing equally a lot of these tea party people talk about small government. socialism is a small government. dictatorship is an even smaller government. you cannot have a small government and expect it to function fairly. people are naturally it going to get greedy when they get into a position and do not have to answer to anyone, corporations -- those that want no rules are the ones that want the liberty to take advantage.
host: we will leave it there. p.j.. kansas city, missouri. kansas city, missouri. caller: the public, is the public not the government? the answer is no. host: the public has no role than the caller: apparently not -- of the public has no role? caller: apparently not. host: would you like to see them represented? ller: absolutely. every one that calledn is right, but t government is functioning incorrectly. host: have you reached out to your representatives and senators about this? caller: why waste my time? host: in "the detroit free press" the lead story is --
"what would you do to balance the federal budget"? one man does not like to drive mucht night, so he is willing to pay for investments in light rail. host: you can read more about that in "the detroit free press pure " -- "the detroit free ess." honolulu, jeanne, hawaii. aloha. caller: thank you, thank you for
having me answer your question. and host: what is the role of the public in answering these questis? caller: we need access to these debates and there should be a hearing of that. we should not be leftondering what president obama is going to do and what those democrats are going to do. host: have you been in contact with representatives about this? caller: yes. regularly. i have not had any response yet. host: will this affect el new vote in november of 2012? -- will this affect how you vote in november of 2012 democrats caller: i am not sure how why will vote yet. host: this twitter message says
-- host: grayson, ga., and you are on the line for "washington journal." caller: this entire situation appears to be caed by the public and who they voted for, the role of the public in this is to learn and understand the scope of the problem that they caused. host: in your opinion, what is the scope of the problem? w do we go taking care of that? caller: in libertari, so i do believe in a much smaller role. juan paul, i guarantee that if he brought it back to the side that we originally intended, we would be able to take care of
host: our question this morning is what is the role of the public eye and that negotiations. gene, you a on the line. caller: if president obama gets in again, i m not going to be a democrat. i am changing to independent. because if the republicans can draw a line in the sand, he can as well. the last time he gave up, giving them that tax break. the extent of the cut for the
rich. yet now he needs to put his foot in the sand in he had better put that foot in the sand. my mother told me you cannot argue with a fool and crazy people. host: we will leave it there, jeanne. from twitter -- host: we are going to take a look at some of the other items in the news this morning regarding the public's role in debt negotiations. from "the washington times," bear right "employers skeptical of oma of bell of less red tape."
for example, making it the federal reserve in the run paul bell, we saw that there were things going on that no one in america would recognize. european big banks and companies here in the state's, i think it will be of service to the public to see what is going on. as far as debt negotiations, obama in 2000, when he was a senator, it was a total failure. host: our next call comes from sarge, nebraska. caller: why do they want to have those meetings in private? host: why do you think they want to have these meetings in private?
caller: first of all, the situation is much worse than the average american has been told. and they want to cheat you. they are crooks. that is y they want to do behind closed doors. i get tired o democrats and republicans arguing. it all mak sense. they all the same people. there are crooks. if the american people knew what the government was doing in their name, they would probably revolt, to be truthful. we do not know half of what they do. they give money to corrupt countries in keep dictators in power. we put thoseeople in office and the use our money to go around and do things we did not sanction. host: a couple of items in the newspaper this morning regarding general petraeus,
host: back to the phones and the public's discussion, asheville, n.c., george -- joyce. caller: we do not have any say in what congress says it through our president except through voting. i call them all the time and make my voice heard. sometimes they are not nice to me. i think that the biggest problem in this country are the illegals that come in here to of our country and a protest. the taxes of this country are taking care of them. they will hit the streets in georgia this time. arizona and other states.
host: you said you had had contact? caller: just about my complaints with social security and medicare. host: their response to you? caller: they just listen to me sometimes. sometimes they say thank you for calling. host: you have spoke to them on the phone? caller: i was complaining more about illegals, i think that is the biggest problem of the nation. host: i am going t let you go now. we have this biggest -- we have this twitter message. host: auburn they'll, florida, you are on washington journal.
caller: they never listen to us at all. this is all about them. we have no say in any type of politics or anything that goes on and on and on. they claim that the tea party speaks for people, but the tea party is run by corporations and individuals. like grover norquist. politics making a place for him for no tax increases. for no tax increases. host: what about the people who say that your vote is your say? caller: here is the thing. if all of the people that watched c-span voted, we would have a wonderful country. i would s that 52% of the people have no idea who these
coastal louisiana, bob, republican line. call: good morning. go ahead, bob. caller: yes. how do we know that there is a debt crisi we never see any facts and figures. all that we have to do is go by what timothy geithner says. you kw what he is? host: it has been in all of the papers. papers. caller: i have never seen any facts and figures. just that timothy geithner ys that it is a debt crisis. host: what is the rol of the public in those negotiations, then? then? caller: how come we do not see
anything? like us said -- like i said. host: have you spoken to your representatives about this? caller: any one that raises our taxes will have to look for a new job. host: alan, you are on "washington journal." caller: this so-called bush tax cut is another bailout. this is bob -- bothered money. we have been bothering money to pay for the richest people in our culture to have a tax cut. furthermore, this started during the course of a war. no one mentioned that.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> i just want to give you an upkate on the deficit negotiations that we've been having for the last several weeks and i want to wish again everybody a happy fourth of july. over the july fourth weekend my team and i had a series of discussions with congressional leaders in both parties. we've made progress and i believe that greater progress is within sight but i don't want to fool anybody. we still have to work through some real differences. now, i've heard reports that there may be some in congress who want to do just enough to make sure that america avoids defaulting on our debt in the short-term but then wants to kick the can down the road when it comes to solving the larger problem of our deficit. i don't share that view. i don't think the american
people sent us here to avoid tough problems. that's in fact what drives them nuts about washington. when both parties simply take the path of least resistance. and don't want to do that here. i believe that right now we've got a unique opportunity to do something big, to tackle our deficit in a way that forces our government to live within its means, that puts our economy on a stronger footing for the future and still allows us to invest in that future. most of us already agree that to truly solve our deficit problem we need to find trillions in savings or over the next decade. and significantly more in the decade that follow. that's what the bipartisan fiscal commission said, that's the amount that i put forward in the framework i announced a few months ago, that's around the same amount that republicans have put forward in their own plans. and that's the kind of substantial progress that we should be aiming for here. to get there i believe we need a balanced approach.
we need to take on spending in domestic programs, in defense programs, in entitlement programs and we need to take on spending in the tax code. spending on certain tax breaks and deductions for the wealthiest of americans. this will require both parties to get out of our comfort zones and both parties to agree on real compromise. i'm ready to do that. i believe there are enough people in each party that are willing to do that. and what i know is that we need to come together over the next two weeks to reach a deal that reduces the deficit and upholds the full faith and credit of the united states government and the credit of the american people and that's why even as we continue discussions today and tomorrow i've asked leaders of both parties and both houses of congress to come here to the white house on thursday so we can build on the work that's
already been done and drive towards a final agreement. it's my hope that everybody's going to leave their ultimatums at the door, that we'll all leave our political rhetoric at the door and that we're going to do what's best for our economy and do what's best for our people. and i want to emphasize, i said this in my press conference this should not come down to the last second. i think it's important for to us show the american people and their leads that are we can find common ground and solve our problems in a responsible way. we know that it's going to require tough decisions, i think it's better for us to take those tough decisions sooner rather than later. that's what the american people expect of us, that's what a healthy economy is going to require, that's the kind of progress that i expect to make. so i promise i will keep you guys updated as time goes on. all right? >> are you going to take any questions, mr. president? >> i guarantee you jay's going to take a lot.
>> that pretty much sums it up. anybody have any questions? [laughter] >> thanks. is he then ruling out white house support for an interim increase in the deficit -- >> i think you heard him say, the president say quite clearly that he does not share the view that he has heard some in congress hold that we should support some sort of short-term deal that kicks the can down the road on significant deficit reduction. he believes that we have now a unique opportunity, the result of a confluence of events and decisions that gives us a chance to do something big, that can set u.p.s. -- set us
on solid footing for the 21st century as we build our economy. get our fiscal house in order. at a crucial time. so he strongly believes and i think you just heard him say this that leaders were elected to lead, to make hard choices, to compromise and to take some flack for that compromise because it requires tough choices. so, i think he said quite clearly that he does not believe that is the right course. >> he also used the phrase over the next two weeks. i want to make sure we're clear on this. what has the white house decided to be the hard deadline to get a deal? >> i will leave it to what the president said in terms of the next two weeks and i think that that's important because as he said in his press conference last week and again just now, we should not leave this to the last minute. august 2 as affirmed again by the analysts at the treasury
department is a real serious deadline. the consequences of defaulting on our obligations for the first time in the history -- history of this country would be serious and unpredictable. so we need to move quickly. we should not procrastinate, we need to get this done. and that's why i think he spoke about two weeks. >> two weeks, no interim debt ceiling raised as an option. so two weeks to reach a $2 trillion-plus plan and you'ral ath a stalemate over revenues. what happens if you don't hit that two weeks? >> i don't want to speculate about what might happen if we don't get the deal that we should get. we believe that it's possible, it's achievable, that the progress we've made is significant and that there is the will within both parties, as the president just said, there are members, there are enough members, he believes in, in both parties who believe in
the necessity of reaching for a big deal and are willing to make the compromise necessary to do that, that we should -- we need to take action for that reason. >> with the meeting on thursday that he just announced, does that mean there will not be -- he will not be attending a meeting on the hill tomorrow? >> we have no plans for that tomorrow, yes. >> and so all other invitations that have been issued from the hill at this point are not being accepted by the stpwhouse >> the president spoke with the leaders, he has invited them to come to the white house to move these talks forward on thursday and that's the next meeting that we anticipate. >> [inaudible] in terms of further follow-up meet sngs >> we don't have any other meet togs announce for us. this is a dynamic and fluid situation but i can assure you that these conversations continue at a variety of
levels, they have continued consistently since the vice president began the formal negotiations and the fact that they have made progress i think is important and worth noting and that's why the president believes we have the opportunity now to get something serious done for the american people. >> is there -- [inaudible] >> that sounds like a speculative question. >> i'm trying to think of how i can phrase that differently. i'm going to stick with it. would the white house consider using the 14th amendment as a way to raise the debt creeling? >> look, i don't think that i want to get into speculation about what might happen if something does or doesn't happen. the president believes firmly that a deal is possible, that if the players here all check their absolutist positions and their rhetoric at the door and accept the basic premise that
we all agree on what the problem, is we all agree on the broad outlines what have the solution is and that if we can negotiate and compromise on the details of how we go get there, we can do something significant that will be beneficial for the american people, beneficial for the american economy and good for america's standing going into the 21st century, a very competitive economic century. >> some republicans on the hill say that some spin coming from the white house is inaccurate, that the white house and democrats have not signed off to trillions of dollars in spending cuts, that it was roughly $1 trillion and that they hadn't actually agreed to any of them and there were a bunch of gimmicks contained within that $1 trillion. you can -- >> you know that we have not commented on the specifics of the negotiations, that the vice president led. and i'm not going to start doing that now. i would say that the president has always said, the vice president has said, others have
said that we obviously agree to the proposition that nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon and i think that that will hold true in these negotiations. compromise necessitates all the pieceses coming together and what i can guarantee you is that significant progress was made towards reducing spending in those conversations and that more progress needs to be made in order to get this thing done and that progress needs to come in all the facets the president talked about, in nondefense discretionary spending, in defense spending, in entitlement spending and in spending in the tax code. >> about the fast and furious program. i know that there's this